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Our last day in Syria - Damascus

Written on: Friday April 11th, 2008

A journal entry from: Trails in 2008

We have now realised that when you get the bus between towns in Syria, they like to give the tourists the front seats, kind of like first class.  I decided to get amongst it in the back (because I was following my seat number on the ticket, not spotting the trend of the front seats).   

The bus ride from Palmyra to Damascus was 3 hours long.  I was amongst an extended family of friendly folk with lots of children, all of whom were scared of me.  This happens to me in NZ, so I couldn't blame it on being a foreigner.  But when I pulled out my Closer magazine and started showing them pictures of Brad and Angelina, and Posh in her latest outfits they were happy enough.  The next 2 hours was spent giving english lessons.  It was good fun but mental note to take the front seat if I want a rest.

Damascus is a big city, and we thought we would stop into the tourist info centre to get a map and tips on what to see.  A slight miscommunication meant next thing you know we're in the office of the General of the tourist police, drinking strong coffee and talking to him and his sidekick for about half an hour!  We actually think he just wanted to practice his english.  This was the highlight of Damascus really. It's a city and although the souks were once again fantastic, and the main mosque was stunning, it didn't really do much for us.

I did go to a hammam (traditional bath house) in Damascus, an experience I won't forget in a hurry!

We have really enjoyed Syria, the people have mostly been very friendly and helpful and it's been pretty cheap too.  Only two downsides - the plastic bags littering the countryside and the hallitosis.