Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A Postcard From Alexandria

I always thought that Alexandria was in Egypt and therefore it came as a bit of a surprise when I discovered an old postcard from the collection of my Great Uncle Fowler. The subject of the photograph is quite clearly, the Fountain in Alexandria. Equally, the clear evidence is that the postcard was sent in 1907 and is postmarked "Alexandria". However the message is far more in tune with 21st century travel arrangements. "Enjoying myself immensely here for a weekend", JW writes. "Only fault is it is of too short duration". Could people really jet off to Alexandria for the weekend in 1907? 
The trusty Web provides the answer : Alexandria isn't in Egypt, it is in Dunbartonshire. Not only does the excellent Vale Of Leven website provide me with a very readable history of the settlement, it heads this up with a copy of the very photograph which appears on Uncle F's postcard. Situated a few miles south of Loch Lomand, Alexandria is a far more suitable weekend destination for the Edwardian traveller. And what a wonderful destination it must be. According to another internet source, it is the location of a great library (one of the finest in the ancient world) and also a spectacular lighthouse (which, I assume, is rooted in Loch Lomand itself). All this excellent knowledge comes from the internet. What a magnificent thing it is.

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