Damascus. Syria.

My friends and I decided to travel to Syria over Easter in 2010. The old walled city of Damascus had been on the top of my travel list, along with Jerusalem since moving to Dubai. The city is lovely and quaint, bursting with history, great people and a very busy night life. I am very fortunate the trip panned out the way it did, when it did, since the civil unrest has made travel even harder now, if not impossible.

Damascus, founded in the 3rd millennium BC is one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities and a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is believed to have been populated as early as 8,000 to 10,000 BC according to excavations at Tell Ramad on the outskirts of the city. Continue reading

‘Bride of the Desert’. Palmyra. Syria.

Palmyra, founded in the 2nd millennium BC and subsequently abandoned in 1929 AD was also once known as the Bride of the Desert because it was an important city located in an oasis. The ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980.

It took us over 3 hours in an old inter-city bus to make our way from the old walled-city of Damascus (ref: Damascus. Syria) to Palmyra. We were the only tourists on the bus filled chiefly with village folk going to Aleppo and it turned out to be quite an adventure, well, perhaps not as much as the journey back. An old man went row to row selling his version of ‘booza’, an ice cream with an elastic, sticky consistency commonly made in the Arab countries. The lady beside me decided to breastfeed her young son mid-jouney while her husband tried to give my friends useful tips on traveling in Syria.  Continue reading