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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Syria - Palmyra

SYRIA | Tuesday, 7 September 2010 | Views [910]

Palmyra – can we stay an extra day, please?

Obviously, the bus becomes a (really) mini-van, and here we go, squeezing in and slowly melting with 13 other people, all staring at us “very discreetly”, including a not so discreet little girl and full on Bedouin  man in full desert gear.

At least, in my country, they will ask you if you want the tour “with or without emotion?” If you’ve ever been to Natal, in Brazil, you’ll know what I mean (if you haven’t, it refers to riding a buggy on the sand dunes).  We got our bit of emotion whether we wanted it or not. The driver makes a pit stop (we are on a busy highway, crossing the desert, ok?) and “forgets to pull on the hand-brake”.  So, we slowly and driverless, drift towards a busy highway, everyone in the mini-van screaming, till one of the guys jumps out of the moving car (our hero) and pulls on the handbrake.  Then we all started laughing and, on cue, the Bedouin looks at us and says “welcome to Syria”. We all laugh nervously, enough emotion for a day?

We got to Palmyra in the evening and guess what?  The place is AMAZING, the hotel is the best one since Naxos (Greece), and of course, we decided to stay another night.  We slept so well, breakfast is nice and light Bedouin style (yoghurt, fresh apricot jam, cheese, butter, olive oil, zataar, flat bread and nice tea), and we are off to explore the AWESOME ruins and the Oasis (yeah, a real OASIS).  It’s such a wonderful place; please see the 25000 photos we took of Palmyra, just in case you don’t believe us. Highly recommended.

Ah, forgot to mention, they don’t have Facebook in Syria, it’s totally blocked, the rest of the internet stuff is fine otherwise.

Wait, there’s more… and it’s all good!  We decided to go back to the ruins for sunset as we were told the lighting is fantastic, and guess what?  It really is amazing.  I bought a Bedouin style scarf in Aleppo and Paul decides to confiscate it.  He asks me to wrap it around his head for him and I do my best but obviously it’s crap.  We are walking around when Camel Khaled and some other Bedouins  come by on camels. They ask if we want a camel ride, no thanks and we ask if we can take photos.  During the “photo shoot”, Khaled laughs at the way Paul’s scarf.  After blaming the wife, the guy said it would take me 1000 years to learn how to do it and says “I’ll teach you”.  And so he does, and it’s such a nice moment, we are both really moved by the whole thing.  Even the photos kind of translate the moment very nicely. Later on, we keep on meeting the guy everywhere and he yells from his bike “Brazilians”, every time he sees us around. So we decide to go back to the hotel and pick up one of our Brazilian football T-shirts and give it to him.  Can we please stay another day, I ask?  No, moving on to Damascus.


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