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Our Wine on Ice correspondent Ralph Lowe (top) was in Egypt with his wife, Georgene, in 1983. Often a teacher, he wrote: “Once the indisputable first city of the Western World, Alexandria was rotting from the inside out. The sea air played hell with the paint and the marble and the concrete.” Their rooms were close to a “long walk beside the sea that ended in the ruins of the Great Library of Alexandria, the burning of which was the single greatest catastrophe of Antiquity and, one could argue Western Civilization itself.”

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