Orient Gate Hotel
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... br> On Friday, March 25, 2011, I flew from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Damascus International Airport to begin what would become a life-changing trip through Syria. During my flight, I was slightly nervous and very excited for two reasons. First, my flight was delayed 6 hours, so my anticipation kept growing and growing. Second, the days leading up to my trip brought regular news about the conflicts that ...
... would expect, but the Syrian versions of these classics were unique; the lentil soup had a blend of spices that I wasn't able to discern, and the baba ghanoush was similar to a mild salsa with bits of fresh tomato and pepper. At 6 bucks for a very filling lunch it's the kind of place that might just see me as a regular. Now I have two months to visit all the shwarma stands a fava bean vendors we passed on the way here. Oh yes, I will be happy here in ...
... 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.
... for customers this man had won by simply being the pushiest. “Afamia Hotel? Okay, no problem, two hundred Syrian Pounds.” Whether this was a fair price or not, we nodded and climbed into the back, my legs pressed up against the driver's seat in front. The dashboard had a layer of carpet along its length and also a dangling mirror with a pair of eyes staring out at us. As we rushed through downtown Damascus, we couldn’t help but be disappointed. The buildings looked ...
Damascus is my last stop in Syria. A city many claim is the oldest in the world. A city that is also the highlight of people's visit to Syria, and deservedly so. Although it's not my favorite city in Syria, each day it grows on me. I gave myself over a week in Damascus, to really explore the city and build a mini-home. What I realised quickly is that the summer is not the month to attempt this mini-home, unless of course your home-like vision is for some obscure reason an oven. Exploration ...