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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Damascus, Syria

Jul 21, 2007 - The Road to Damascus

City rivalry is alive in well in Damascus - a 'my city is better than your city' debate ranges between Damascus and Aleppo, similar to that between Calgary and Edmonton, or Edinburgh and Glasgow. In Syria, the big boasting point has to do with the question of which city is the oldest...both Aleppo and Damascus claim to be the world's oldest continually inhabited city. Our guide, a proud Damascene, was confident Damascus could wave its flag as the wold's oldest continually inhabited capital city (like a proud native, he also claimed it had...

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Apr 11, 2007 - Damas

Damas (jour 2) A: Lorsqu'un musulman pratiquant a envie d'aller boire un verre avec ses amis, il se rend dans un "vitamin bar" et se commande un pichet... de jus de fruit fraîchement pressé! À l'oeil, il semble y avoir encore plus de "vitamin bar" à Damas qu'à Ankara. Il faut dire qu'il sont faciles à repérer, avec leurs guirlandes colorées d'oranges, de pamplemousses, de pommes grenades et de citrons. Il suffit de commander son mélange préféré au "barman" pour obtenir son "bock" (pour la modique somme de 0,60$)qu'on boit dans la rue,...

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Apr 10, 2007 - Damas

A: Sur la route de Damas, nous croisons de nombreux campements de Bédouins. Il y en a près d'un million en Syrie; 60% d'entre eux seulement vivent encore en véritables nomades. Les autres sont semi-sédentaires. Durant des siècles, ils ont guidé les caravanes d'oasis en oasis à travers le désert; ils les ont protégées contre le brigandage. Le développement de l'aviation aurait pu sonner leur glas, mais ils se sont rabattus sur l'élevage des moutons. Le désert recule et la végétation revient... nous approchons de Damas. Selon notre maigre,...

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Jul 14, 2006 - Update

It looks like my trip will be cut short. With the escalation in Lebanon, they aren't going to let foreigners back into the country so I'm going to leave from Damascus early next week, probably Tuesday. Right now, Syria is peaceful so we hit a few sites in the south of the country today including a Roman amphitheatre and the first building ever built specifically for Christian worship. We also met the Bishop of Horan, an incredible man who turned down an assignment in Australia to work in Syria's poorest area. I will see you all sooner than...

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May 7, 2006 - Damascus

Spent the day wandering the markets - learnt the hard way that if the taxi doesn't start his meter then hes going to charge you about triple! The traffic is abit mad - im sure its worse elsewhere but generally people drive on the right hand side - if you toot your horn that qualifies you to drive irratically. Theres alot of beeping going on here in damascus. .....and here i am now at the internet. about to go and check out the old city and have dinner in town later that day.... we got abit lost here, luckily a guy called Mohammad turned up...

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Apr 9, 2006 - Damascus

Well worth the wait. I could see getting stuck in Damascus for some time. The old city is better to that of Aleppo,but the souq in Aleppo is more interesting. Like Aleppo it is nice to explore the old streets of the city occasionally stopping for a falafel, swarma or nargileh. The smell of fresh turkish coffee around every corner,WOW!!! The Umayyad Mosque is very impressive. Did i mention the old restaurants, the other day i created my own walking tour of the old city. It involves checking out all the old school restaurants in town,quite...

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Mar 20, 2006 - damascus

dear nader. this evening will be my last in damascus. 5 nights, 5 days, & now back to aleppo for about 3 days before making the 24 hr. or so trip back to istanbul. so how will i end my time here? probably by roaming through the souq at night; eating ice cream, sipping fresh juices, taking photos, perhaps being photographed (a photojournalist from nyc might join in on the fun) & if feeling rambuncious, hide & go seek, although the cache-cache never really lasts long with these back packers. damascus has been good to me, though compared to...

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Dec 3, 2005 - Week Twenty Two

November 27 & 28th (Gary) Today we crossed to the West bank of the Nile to visit the Valley of the Kings, we set out early to avoid the heat of the day as the temperature has crept up into the high thirties over the last few days. With my English upbringing the term 'valley' conjures up images of green pastures and trees, quite different to the Valley of the Kings which I would describe as a short stark rocky canyon. What makes this place amazing are the 60 or more tombs cut deep into either side of the 'valley', our entry ticket allowed us...

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Nov 12, 2005 - Week Nineteen

November the 7th (Gary) With all the festivities and the weekend over the post office reopened and we were able to collect our new Middle East guide book my sister Wendy had sent from the UK, thank you Wendy. Good up to date Guide books of the area are much harder to find in Turkey than we ever thought possible, plenty of Guide books for Russia, Mexico, Spain and Cape Cod, but very few for adjacent areas. Within an hour we were dealing with very busy and stressed Turkish border officials who had reverted to pen and paper due to their...

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Nov 6, 2005 - Damascus

05 & 06 NOV DAMASCUS: UMAYADD MOSQUE AND A GREAT INTERNET CAFE It is a 240km trek to Damascus, passing a largely treeless landscape, with the Anti-Lebanon Range to our right. Within just a few km of Palmyra it has stopped raining. We stop for a photo opportunity at a signpost to Baghdad and a coffee break at the seemingly renowned Baghdad Cafe. We hit the traffic jams of Damascus by 14:30. The guide book tells us there are two Damascuses: the walled Old City and the rest. The hotel is well-situated for the Old City. On our first afternoon...

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Oct 11, 2005 - Damascus - Syria

Damascus has historically had a powerful effect on visitors. The apostle Paul was struck down by a blinding light on the road to Damascus and upon hearing the voice of God, went from being a persecutor of Christians to a hardcore apostle for the new faith. The prophet Muhammad, standing on Mount Qassioun, overlooking the city, refused to enter it because he wanted to enter paradise only once, and that was to be when he died. It's pretty hard to confuse present day Damascus with paradise. Soviet chic would be a benevolent way to describe...

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Sep 18, 2005 - Damascus in One Day

Salaam Aleikum, We arrived in Damascus Friday @ noon and had the rest of the day to explore the city, but Friday is the Arab sabbath so everything was closed. So we took a 45 minute bus ride north to the Christian village of Maloul where the ancient language of Aramaic, the language of Jesus, is still spoken. There is a convent and monastery and a church with some beautiful old icons. When Saturday rolled around we were ready to hit the streets because Damascus has so much to offer we knew one day was not enough time. From our hotel we...

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