Ebla Cham Palace Damascus
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... quarter of the old town of Damascus and walking distance from some of the best souks on the planet. Unlike the souks of Marrakech, here people go about their business without hassling tourists. Remember, this is Syria in the midst of a political crisis so the only tourists were the hardcore types. I had the whole city to myself. And as for the protests? I only saw those on TV. Walking around the old part of Damascus was pleasant and although the people were strangely ...
... the Baptist, and was where the head of Hussein, the grandson of the prophet Muhammed, was taken (although it has since been moved to Cairo).
I also visit the tomb of Saladin and see a performance by a traditional story teller which is quite enjoyable, even though I can't understand a single word since the whole thing was in Arabic. I crash early and take off by myself next morning to wander through the old city. I walk down the Via Recta, ...
... was looking at a new addiction. I was in Amman walking with my friend Rob.
"what's that place?" I asked staring into the curiously inviting interior of a building we were passing.
"A hammam, a Turkish bathhouse"
"ohh...." my mind filled with a million questions "is it expensive?"
"wait till you get to Syria, here in Amman they're priced for tourists"
Fast forward to the present day. The hammam has now become ...
... bought by a few people on the tour I took.
More on Baalbeck shortly, but first a few words on Wednesday night. The district I am staying is in Raouche, a largely Muslim district in West Beirut. Its Corniche passes the "Pigeon Rocks", natural offshore rock arches and a famous sight here. As I mentioned in the first entry of this blog in Beirut as in most Mediterranean places everyone goes out to walk along the Corniche at night. It is ...
... bus. But the bus was heading out of town, so we hopped off, walked back and argued about which road would take us home. So we cabbed a bit but still couldn't find home. No street names, no address, no communication between us and the locals. The phone wouldn't work and we were lost. Finally we called and were picked up......all in a days work of travel I suppose. And blisters to prove it.