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Stowing Away I stood between two facing mirrors & almost caught a glimpse of infinity, but my bloody head kept getting in the way

The road to Damascus

SYRIA | Friday, 16 November 2001 | Views [5581] | Comments [1]

Hmmm, which way?

Hmmm, which way?

After camping a night in a disused rock quarry to evade the Turkish rangers (who aren't very keen on people camping by the roadside in the middle of nowhere), we crossed the border to Syria. Strangely, the soil changes colour from dusty grey to rich red as soon as you cross the border. I have no idea why as there is no obvious geological change.

First impressions of Syria:
flat treeless desert plains
mad drivers - no road rules but lots of traffic policemen - up to 9 policemen on one intersection - even though they also have working traffic lights at the same intersection! I was quite surprised at the number of old American cars from the 40's 50's and 60's. Also lots of black Cadillac’s and Mercedes motoring about.

We visited several Crusader Castles scattered across Syria, by far the best being CRAK DES CHEVALIERS, which is definitely the most impressive castle I have seen anywhere. (also know as Krak des Chevaliers)
Crak de chevaliers

Spent a fair bit of time scouring several local covered souks (markets), narrow alleys and everything for sale you can think of (and many I hadn't). I found there were much less hassles shopping in the local markets compared to Turkey – not yet sure if this is a cultural difference or because there is a lesser impact of tourism.

Spent a day in Palmyra in the Syrian desert, yet another city swallowed by the sands of time. Probably the most impressive set of ruins I've seen to date. Where else can you get a Roman city, a crusader castle & Bedouin tents in the same place?

Much of the middle east can be summarised by those brilliant modern philosophers, the B52's, who in their song 'Mesapotamia' wrote:
“I aint no student / of ancient culture
before I go / I should read a book
But there is one thing / that I do know
There's a lot of ruins / in Mesapotamia.”

And Now I am up to Damascus, busy city, and spent two days wandering around. Soon it's off To Jordan, where I m looking forward to going to Petra.

will write more soon

Tags: b52s, crak des chevaliers, damascus, mesapotamia, on the road, palmyra, syria

 

Comments

1

Nice site!

  Batting May 5, 2007 6:09 PM

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