Al Khair Palace Hotel
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The second you enter any place for the first time, you are forced to get a first impression of that place. I believe first impressions are big discoveries made in a small instance, so they are very meaningful. On the other hand, they are only quick snapshots and shouldn't be relied upon solely for making judgments. That being said, the "snapshot" that welcomed me when I arrived in Damascus was an incredibly powerful ...
... next to the train tracks will tell you, after a while it ceases to disturb your slumber. I don't care what the muezzin says; sleep is way better than prayer.
As I've mentioned all along, my plan was to study Arabic at the University here. Well, plans change. After locating the school, gathering the necessary registration forms, and even going through the whole process of getting tested for AIDS, I abandoned that plan ...
... in them. An older woman waved her hand at the icons that were high on the wall, and then kissed her hand. Women also lit a candle, blew it out, lit it again, blew it out etc while chanting a prayer. I was the only tourist around.
... shape and the whole place seemed to be fairly grotty. Five minutes later we were dropped off outside our hotel.
Wasting no time in hitting the streets, we headed towards the Old Town, the home of souqs, mosques and abundant ancient sites. Along the way we passed the magnificent train station, complete with an old stream train at its entrance, and suddenly things began to look much better in Damascus. The smell of cooking filled the air as people breaking the fast of Ramadan ...
Damascus is my last stop in Syria. A city many claim is the oldest in the world. A city that is also the highlight of people's visit to Syria, and deservedly so. Although it's not my favorite city in Syria, each day it grows on me. I gave myself over a week in Damascus, to really explore the city and build a mini-home. What I realised quickly is that the summer is not the month to attempt this mini-home, unless of course your home-like vision is for some obscure reason an oven. Exploration ...