The Life and Times of Bruce Bramson


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May 7, 2009

I am happy to report that my knee is healing rapidly.  I went to Southern California last weekend: perhaps the SoCal sun, or (more likely) the reduced number of stairs to navigate daily seemed to help, and I find I am walking almost “normally”.  I think perhaps I’ll recover!

The trip south was to ride behind this fabulous locomotive:


They just don't build them like this any more!

We rode in this equally fabulous restored Vista-dome car:


Now privately owned. The smoothest ride on the entire train.

This accounts for my lack of posts for awhile! So, now back to Egypt.

After about 6 months of working in Alexandria, I decided to see what was “going on” in Cairo. There certainly wasn’t much “going on” in Alex! I had managed to seduce a couple of lads there, but there was no organized gay life that I could ferret out. One of the few places in Cairo where we felt relatively safe eating the food was the Hilton Hotel. This was just back from the banks of the Nile river, and there were always a clutch of feluccas tied up there to take tourists for rides. There was a granite-block staircase down to the landing. I discovered a handy place under some bushes beside that staircase where I could entice various guys to help themselves to my services. This began a regular retreat from Alexandria each week-end: I would take the train (Hungarian diesel) after work on Friday, and return Sunday evening after “entertaining” a good many lovely and appreciative youths. For many of them it seemed to be something “new”, and perhaps it was, but the language barrier made it difficult to learn. In any case, it was not unusual for chaps to come back for more, bringing a friend or two as well. I rode the railway so often I got the pass-book that gave me favored seating:

Railway Book 1

Very useful book for using first-class trains

Somewhere in my travels—I did not make a note of where—I snapped the picture below of the only derelict steam engine I ever saw in Egypt:

Derelict Steam

An old British engine rusting away

There were many unspoiled spots on the Mediterranean Sea westward from Alexandria that were quite beautiful. One of these was Agiba:


Great swimming here, water crystal-clear

Another spot was Ras el Hekma. To get there we always had to bribe the soldiers guarding a nearby microwave tower, but a pack or two of ciggies usually sufficed:

Ras El Hekma location

The red arrow points to Ras el Hekma

Ras el Hekma 1

A wonderfully protected pool, great swimming!

Ras el Hekma 2

My friend Gary visited for a while. We went to Ras el Hekma often

Further West was Marsa Matrouh. It was off-limits to us at first, but several of us crashed it and stayed overnight. Soon thereafter it was opened to all.

MarsaMatrouh Location

The red arrow points to Marsa Matrouh

Approaching M. Matrouh

The welcome sign was welcome: it is a long drive.

Mersa Matrouh 1

Approaching the town of Marsa Matrouh

Mersa Matrouh 2

Beach at Marsa Matrouh

Closer still to Alex was Sidi Abdel Rahman. It had a decent beach and both a hotel and houses to rent. However, the mosquitos were often numerous and fierce!

Sidi Abdel Rahman 1

Lovely beach. Could be "touristy" at times

I read recently that this site is about to be “developed”, which means spoiled. They’ll have to solve the mosquito problem, however.

Sidi Abdel Rahman 2

View from the hotel

Nearer to Cairo was Lake Qurun:

Lake Qurun Location

The red arrow points to Lake Qurun

Lake Qurun

A favorite hunting-ground for the British

The old British hotel at the Lake was a hoot! A friend and I actually stayed overnight there, but it was  badly run-down. I wonder what became of it?

Auberge Qurun

Potentially a nice place.

South and west of Cairo is the odd Pyramid know as Meidum.

Meidum Location

The red arrow points to Meidum

Meidum Pyramid

Presumably the steep sides resulted in collapse

For more about this unusual structure, click here.

Further South from Cairo is Luxor:

Luxor Location

The red arrow points to Luxor

I have many pictures taken in Luxor: here are just a few.


A portion of the Temple at Karnak


Dramatically lit at night


The scale of these temples is astounding


When these temples were new, the Pyramids were already 2500 years old!


Rocks are heavy! How did they construct these pillars?

Further still lies Aswan, about which I will have more to tell in a future page. Stay tuned!



Written by Editor

May 9th, 2010 at 11:45 am

Posted in Egypt