Beit Rumman Hotel
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... compensating them with other religious locations, and commenced with the 7 year long construction of the mosque.
It is now not only an active place of worship, it is a place for families to spend time, to eat and picnic, children to play, weary people to lay and sleep, tourists to wander and to generally relax and enjoy.
... t but have a dutch passport, he simply told me to pay $34 (I did get an official looking receipt) and stamped my passport. Job done, new record time of 8 minutes according to the driver.
The drive itself was pretty nice but uneventful except for when we got into Damascus, where the usual mayhem of touts broke loose immediately. In Damascus I found a nice hotel/hostel with loads of fellow travelers, Al Rabie, which has a ...
... emotions there was also confusion; we may be finishing our cycle, but we are not home and the concept of 70 - 100 hours on a bus is lurking somewhere at the back of the mind.
Winter finally caught up with us this week, we had a hard day in the Lebanese mountains and a couple of cold ones in the Bekaa Valley. Our final day on the bikes was great however and after a late night run-in with ...
... by the closure of stores, and the clogging of public transport. But I had no where to go, and no desire to see anything new. Instead my walk to school (my teacher is Christian, and doesn't celebrate Eid) was refreshingly quiet. I enjoyed the absence of the waddling old ladies blocking my way, and the rush of small children with sticks. Instead I cruised the streets with an extra bounce in my step; observing the local population of sheep dwindle day by day.
... to pray on their behalf and pressing notes of Syrian pounds into her hand. She would duly drone out the prayers in a passionless monotone and hand out white strings to the pilgrims who pressed her palm with cash.
Damascus is a city not to be missed. The Damascenes, like all the Syrians, are warm and welcoming and with its khans (caravanserais), churches, mosques, interesting galleries, the souqs and old city walls, it is a city of wonder and dreams. ...