|Missy, James and I headed out early to get juice and find internet -
Walking through the souk before everyone was there was pleasant, the only shops open were the butchers which neither James nor Missy were especially keen on seeing, Missy feeling really off today and it didn't help seeing large portions of tripe hanging from hooks and trays full of kidneys - I thought it was funny - especially the smiling goats heads.
But yay everything we needed was open - being juice and internet.
Spent 3 hours updating, then it was time to explore. Off to the Christian quarter which was a very much less pushy shopping experience than the souk. Did discover the previously unseen poultry and fish sections though. Needed a sit down after an hour so and started heading in the general direction of the Citadel where there was bound to be tourist type eateries. Missy managed fries and a coke - and it stayed put. I had a less than appetising hummus and cheese bakem (deep dried cheese pastry - yum).
Then off to the Citadel which ended up being like the Tardus - each time we went up a level there was an even greater expansion of ruins! Really didn't look that big from the outside. On our way in a group of young people came up to us and asked where we were from. We talked to them for about 10 minutes - they are all first year uni students from different parts of Syria studying communication technology.( we think) They knew about NZ - Canada was just cold but NZ had sheep, cows and beautiful country side... it was great fun.
At the highpoints of the Citadel must be the place for young couples to go because everywhere there were pairs staring solefully at each other ( orso it seemed) very amusing.
About 1530 a man started blowing a whistle to herd everyone out - was like the swimmingpool attendent trying to get everyone out of the pool. We took the opportunity to skip ahead and try and find the restored throne room which is supposed to be worth seeing. After climbing several flights of ridiculously spaced stairs we were feeling a little under whelmed by the large area we found ourselves in... fortunately we there was another stairwell that lead us to our objective and it was truly a beautiful room.
Now we could go before the whistle blower found us again.
Back through the souks and lots of fun chatting to shop owners. James trying to by some nice earrings but less than keen sellers in the places we liked. Still amused every time we see the wedding dress/princess section and the bras all on dislplay and being sld only by men.
Very busy and stuffy,walked to the end to discover at 1730 that it was pitch black outside. Decided it was time to rest up andthink about dinner. Kristina has had a hair disaster with thehairdresser making her hair VERY blond. Marie sick all day ( same as Missy ) but took to her bed.
Decided to go to the Sheraton for dinner to the Thai restaurant - ridiculously expensive by Syrian standards - but about the same as home. Nissy headed home while James Kristina and I went with a friend of Kristina's to a locals' home, where he played the oude and sang for us, Very cool. Pasha is a young man who moved from a very conservative village 7 years ago to study and now very much enjoys the western lifestyle. Has studied English literature and feels the world has now opened up for him. He is now teaching English and speaks it with a pommie accent. Very intelligent and intellectual young man.