Syria

I guess that Syria was ultimately good to travel through, but they stuffed me around at the border crossing from Jordan, and I never quite forgave them for that. Here’s a hint to the Syrians – when you’re in need of hard currency, be nice to visitors, and make it as straightforward as possible for them to visit. Don’t levy a $60US tax on them when they enter either. If they hadn’t done that, I probably would have stayed longer, ultimately spending more.

The Old City of Damascus was interesting to wander around, but I think it would be better if they banned cars from entering – the lanes are just not big enough. Some lovely architectural examples though

Damascus Palace

Damascus Palace

I’m still trying to work out what these two were doing to each other in the model hamman. Perhaps that’s why I never got around to visiting one in Turkey

Syrian Hamman

“The street called Straight.” The Bible being a touch facetious? Well, it is reasonably straight

Straight Street

The Grand Mosque was pretty impressive – Hussein’s tomb, Saladin’s tomb, the head of John the Baptist – but isn’t that at Topkapi?

Damascus Mosque John the Baptist shrine

Ah, that’s where it is. I’ve been looking for that room all day

Special Clothes Room

I found these sorts of pictures just disturbing. Much like Libya, you just know something’s not right when the “Leader” has to have pictures up everywhere

Abu Simbel

Amongst other things, the American trade restrictions with Syria include a ban on the export of spaces

No Spaces

Palmyra is pretty impressive – a huge amount of Roman ruins, basically just out in the middle of the desert.

Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra Palmyra

Unfortunately I couldn’t get any really good shots of Crac des Chevaliers, so you’ll have to make do with this one:

Crac des Chevaliers

Hama is a nice little town, with excellent accommodation options. Well worth stopping at. I just wish they would keep using the water wheels for their original purpose – they seems so simple, and require no power.

Hama waterwheel