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THE SYRIAN SERIES, DAY 8

DAMASCUS

A day in Damascus. Todays original plan was to go to Bosra, an impressive UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to 2000 years ago.

PROBABLY THE MOST UNORGANISED NIGHT OUT I’VE SEEN.

However, the Jordanian border, beside Bosra has been closed due to the Rebels going back on their ceasefire, gutted to miss out as it is meant to be very similar to Palmyra and only an hour from Damascus.

WHERE IS DAMASCUS?

Damascus

BAZAARS

Bazaars and souks are an integral part of cities throughout the middle east selling everything from coffee and socks to cumin and lingerie. These bazaars act as the main market area for the towns and is often the social epicentre of the city. There are several here in Damascus, the two main being the spice Bazaar and the main Souk.

DAILY INFO….

  • HOTEL – Beit Al Mamlouka 9/10
  • RESTAURANT – Street food hut
  • FOOD –

Chicken kebab, best one I’ve had 9/10
Arabic Ice Cream

  • ATTRACTIONS –

Church St Paul
Old homes
Spice bazaar
Azm Palace
Mausoleum of Saladin
Umayyad Mosque
Bazaar
Train Station (to Mecca)
National Museum of Damascus
St Anania’s House under the museum

AZM PALACE

Azm Palace is a large complex only dating back to Ottoman era in the 17th century – like yesterday compared to some of the other sites in Syria. It was the private home of As’ad Pasha al-Azem who was the governor of Damascus. It was then purchased by the Syrian government who turned it in the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions.

DAILY TRAVEL STATS….

  • Steps – 19,000

MAUSOLEUM OF SALADIN

Built in 1193, 3 years after the death of Saladin, the mausoleum holds two sarcophagi; one in marble and donated by a German emperor(William 2nd) and another in wood which is said to be above the remains of Saladin. Saladin was the first sultan of Syria and Egypt and was the founder of the Ayyubid Dysnasty.

UMAYYAD MOSQUE

Also known as the great mosque of Damascus, it was built on the site of a Christian Basilica in 634, after the Muslim conquest of the city. There are scriptures dating back to the same century which say the building contains the head of John The Baptist.

A day in Damascus

MUSEUM OF DAMASCUS

Again not something that excites me but there were aerial images outside of the museum which showed various sites around the country. One of these shows Mari and the countless illegal excavations made by looters since the start of the Syrian war in the hope of find antiques. Below the museum is the home of Ananias, one of the disciples of Jesus.

A day in Damascus

  FACTS:
  • It is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world.
  • While there are over 2,000 mosques in the city and most of the residents are Muslim, at least 10% are Christian and there is even a small Jewish community.
  • The prestigious Arabic Language Academy of Damascus (1919) is the stronghold of the Arabic language. The Academy preserves and modernizes the language.

NIGHT NOT OUT

A few were heading out for a drink tonight but for sure it had to end up the worst organised night out ever. First Peter needed a nap 🤣 so it was an hour and 30 too late before we got going. Then we stopped to eat, or rather watch the slowest kebab in the world being made before setting off to the bar. Here was just bizarre! After what seemed like forever to finding a decent spot, everyon one by one decided they actually didn’t want to stay and before we got a change to get seated I was on my own, something that isn’t allowed here in Syria so it was back to the street for a beer during the walk home, fml.

A day in Damascus

SUMMED UP….

  • HIGHLIGHT – The people in the hotel
  • LOWLIGHT – The unorganised dinner and beer run!
  • MVP – Lauren & Stacy from the hotel

FINAL THOUGHTS

Disappointing not to get to Bosra but Damascus had plenty to offer.

NEXT UP

The worse driver and Balbeek as I head to Beirut!! Click to read.

SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
152/229

This post is part of The Syrian Series, for the entire series click here or for episode 1, click here.

To watch the video of my trip, head to my highlights on my Instagram.

Question Time

  • Have you been to Damascus?
  • What did you think?
  • Did you do anything I might have missed?

Let me know in the comments below . . .

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THE RUINED RUINS OF PALMYRA
THE WORST DRIVER AND BAALBEK

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