A new week, a new country...
29.03.2010 - 04.04.2010 25 °C
Hope you had great Easter holidays!
My Easter was clearly different this year.
Having heard great stories about Damascus in Syria from other travellers, last Monday I decided quite spontaneously to cross the border from Jordan to Syria with one of the popular service taxis. Travelling by service taxi means that you go to the local bus station and wait until 4 people gather that are interested in going to the same destination. This way you only pay 1/4 of the actual taxi fare.
In Damascus I stayed in an athmospheric backpackers hotel where I instantly met people to explore the city with.
Some of the highlights of Damascus were the Umayyad Mosque, the Azem Palace, the numerous Souqs & street life, the restaurants and local Easter celebrations.
Food is found everywhere in the streets:
Last Thursday I joined an Auzzie couple to one of the most popular archeaological sites in Syria called PALMYRA. The remains of this city were really impressing and we had fun exploring them. Every few minutes beduins were approaching to sell some camel-bone-necklesses. The beduines (=nomades) really do have a different way of growing up, e.g. we met a little beduine girl hardly able to speak but she greeted us with "candy, candy, money, money" pointing towards her lips!
Just before sunset we climbed the highest of the Towers of Yemliko. As this is not allowed we had to cross a gate..
After visiting Palmyra in the evening I travelled to Aleppo by myself as the 2 Australians were staying in Palmyra for the night.
Aleppo is a slighly smaller city and appeared very quiet as I was visiting on Friday (= a holiday). Just before enterig the Great Mosque I met a guide who was leading 2 Americans around Syria and they offered me to join for free! After hearing all the details about the Mosque, which is about 10 years younger than the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, we moved on to see the Citadel (city castle). At the end of the day I lingered through the Christian quarter in Aleppo, right on time to see an Easter ceremony.
For the weekend I was back in Damascus and got to see more of the Easter traditions.
Now back in Amman I'll be going to the Dead Sea. Thursday I will try to cross the border towards Israel. However, I met several travellers that were denied when trying to get into Israel recently so wish me luck!