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Lighting out for the territory nce more in the Middle East. The more I travel the more I want to travel and the longer that I am out of England the happier I am. At present in Iraq and having a wonderful time. really fallen in love with the country and the people. Very glad I came and

Crazy about Iraq!

IRAQ | Wednesday, 7 April 2010 | Views [662]

What a wonderful country Iraq is and what really, really nice people.

So much construction going on, so busy, such cheerful people. Aheb Iraq! I love Iraq!

There are no tourists here except for the group I am with and everywhere we go people do a double take - and then they grin and wave. Iraqis I have met are extremely welcoming, smiley and have a wicked sense of humour.

In a few years when the political situation stabilises, tourists will flood to Iraq. It is the place where civilisation began - Babylon, Ur, Eridea, Uruk, Nippur, such fabulous ancient sites going back thousands of years. Very strange to find world famous archaeological sites completely devoid of visitors. 

There are some first class hotels, the food is fabulous, the Islamic shrines are a huge draw for Muslim pilgrims. It is also fascinating to visit Saddam Hussein's deserted palaces with their imported Italian marble and chandeliers. And graffiti.

Downside? Bloody hot even in March. Checkpoints every few minutes - and every other street in Baghdad which slow down your travel to a crawl. This is an observation, not a complaint. Iraq needs its checkpoints. No ATMs except in the shopping malls in Erbil, Kurdistan, (which is a different place altogether without the heavy security).

But this may be the country that has everything including a very bright future. I sincerely hope so and wish Iraq well.

This is not a recommendation to come here, by the way. It is dangerous to be here. Very dangerous. Because of this independent travel is not a possibility at present so it is a group tour or nothing. But I am very glad I came and when the restrictions are lifted I will come back on my own and meet some more very brave, very special Iraqis.

Tags: babylon, erbil, eridea, iraq, kurdistan, saddam hussein, ur

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