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 ...
... It is one of only 3 small towns (population around 2,000) that still speaks Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. Part of this relates to the geography of Maloula with its position in a deep valley under steep cliffs. There are statues of Jesus and Mary on the top of the cliffs.
We explore the East Gaps, narrow canyons that enter Maloula then feeling adventurous climb to the top of ...
... on a mobile, door knocking, door opening and closing…and luckily nothing else as I didn’t really want to think about what all those related sounds might mean. We had a somewhat restless night and I woke at 5am with daylight peeping through the lace curtains and my body sure it was really 7am, which it was in Dubai.
We breakfasted in the courtyard, a pleasant mix of local and western delights - olives, labneh, haloumi cheese, boiled ...
... 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 ...