Thursday morning superb weather ; everyone is gay, we are about to land.

November 15th, 1849, 12pm

Thursday morning superb weather ; everyone is gay, we are about to land. We hire a pilot for the Alexandria pass ; he has a white turban - (on board on the gangways we had two hadjis from Algeria, who didn’t move from their spot). Once in the port he asks Roux for bread and cheese while holding his beard: “do you have clean hands at least, you pig?” - Landing - chaos of cries and parcels - at the edge of the dock, on the left, good Arabs are fishing with their line. The first boat I see is a brick from Saint-Malo - and the first thing on the land of Egypt a camel. I had been up in the stays and had a glimpse of the roof of Muhammad Ali’s Seraglio gleaming in the sunlight, black dome in the middle of a large melted silver light over the sea. Negresses, negroes, fellahins. We are taken to shore in the lifeboat; there’s a fountain at this spot where the camels come to fill their wineskins - solemn and worried feeling when my foot touched the Egypt soil.

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Gustave Flaubert

"Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world." [extracts from Flaubert's travel diary written in 1849-1851]

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