Fardoss Tower Hotel
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A 6hr bus journey to Damascus (Damask in Syrian).
Stepping off the bus at the bus station a few kilometers outside of town I was surrounded by taxi drivers wanting my business. 600SYP shouted one driver. Way too high as I know that it should only be around 150SYP ($3). So I offered 100SYP as a start to the bargaining process. No takers at the moment.
I lit a cigarette whereupon ...
... some sort of movie, nothing that concerns me I thought... 30 minutes later the director walks up to me and asked if I wouldn't perhaps be interested in 10 days of paid vacation throughout Syria? Turns out he is making a 15 minute promotional movie for the Syrian board of tourism that will be shown on CNN regularly and also used on Tourism fairs for the next 2 years to promote Syria amongst tourists. The script is something like 2 people ...
... the cliffs for a view of the Statue of Jesus and Maloula. The mythological story of the Gaps is that St Takla was being persecuted so she prayed to escape. The steep cliffs then split to allow her to escape.
We find a great local pizza shop that is very cheap then hike to the second monastery. It’s then time to head back to Damascus for another nice dinner and our final night in ...
... and jam, pain au chocolat, coffee and fruit.
Our guide Safur had arranged to meet us back where he’d dropped us at Bab Touma (Thomas’s Gate) at 9am and we managed to find our way OK with only one small hesitation at the end of our alley. It was cold but we were assured it would warm up within an hour and we first drove to park the car near Bab Sharqi, where we had a quick look in the small and ancient St Ananais ...
... are no buckles to clip them too . Our way around this is to put our bodies through the belt where they sit just under our arms . That way if there is any sudden jolt there is something there to stop us going through the windows . It's very lax here when it comes to safety and kids ride up front on the parents laps with no protection at all . We found Turkey to be the same and I don't know how many taxis we have had to get out of ...