Sunday, May 20, 2012

Montaza Para-Para-Paradise

The Montaza palace is located in the Montaza district, which sits right on the Mediterranean sea.  The garden grounds of Montaza are quite extensive(over 150 acres) and well kept with spring flowers, a light house for viewing, palm trees lined up, freshly cut grass, fountains, village huts for picnics, and hidden streams.
History from Wikipedia:
Palaces and gardens
The extensive Montaza Palace grounds first had the Salamlek Palace, built in 1892 by Khedive Abbas II, the last Muhammad Ali Dynasty ruler to hold the Khedive title over the Khedivate of Egypt and Sudan. It was used as a hunting lodge and residence for his companion.

The larger Al-Haramlik Palace and royal gardens were added to the Montaza Palace grounds, being built by King Fuad I in 1932, as a summer palace. It is in a mixture of Turkish and Florentine styles, with has two towers, one rising distinctively high above with elaborated Italian Renaissance design details. The palace has long open arcades facing the sea along each floor.

Unfortunately, the palace is not open for entry, but walking around the grounds is quite pleasurable. 
Also, I made friends with the security guard, Rami, who invited me down to the private beach, which is only for beach villa owners.   The water was turquoise with the coral reef clearly visible through the water and you can see bright blue fish right at your feet.  There was only a few people on this private beach, which made it quite relaxing. 

The private beach is part of the private beach compounds. 
Beach compounds are very popular for Egyptians, which they are pretty much like beach villas that are located on the water. They have all sorts of amenities like pools, gyms, cafes, and private access only if you are a owner.   They are quite common for wealthy Egyptians to have and they are quite popular in Alexandria. 

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