Al Khair Palace Hotel
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Travel Blogs from Damascus
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 ...
... city has been severely stunted by the heat. And this isn't just any heat, this is a heat wave, this is Saudi heat, not Syrian. Temperatures of 45, 46... 47 have become normal. The other day it (apparently) peaked at 52 (in the sun), at which point I think I became delusional. Getting into a car during this heat has to be one of the most testing activities. Inside the car the temperature is immense. It's suffocatingly hot. It's dangerous driving, as the black steering wheel becomes too ...