Safita Cham Palace
Travel Blogs from Safita
To Krak by Bus changing at Homs. Some 4 hour journey arriving early evening.
A magnificent and perfectly preserved crusader castle, possibly the best in the world and perched above the Al-Wadi valley to the west of Homs. Erected around 1200AD and relatively unchanged pays testament to its strength and durability of construction.
In its heyday it had a Garrison of ...
... a warm welcome, and exaggerated compliments.
One of the most useless Arabic phrases I've somehow committed to memory is "this room is too dirty". Here in Syria a room comes as is. Take it or leave it. Don't expect an apology for the dust bunny sitting in the corner, and pray to Allah that the bed comes with sheets. Yes it is a bit of a compromise, but at least the only dirtbag snoring in this room tonight is me. In that fact, I find happiness
... the European crusaders. It was finally taken back by the Muslims in 1271 via a forged letter ordering its surrender. Still excellently preserved, it is especially notable for its extant frescoes.
Our hotel, while mediocre (especially with regard to the breakfast) affords a spectacular view of the castle. It is also where I purchase a model kit of the castle as my first true souvenir for the ...
... maybe the calf would be scared watching me eat! I finish my meal, pay the bill and walk out to see the calf, its throat cut, kicking in its death throes on the ground. There is blood everywhere. A man waving a large sharp knife indicates it will be tonight's meat!
It is the hottest day yet at 40C.
In the cool of the evening I join Tartusians in their hundreds having a paseo on the promenade and watch the sun set over the ...
... for a while, see a possibility of getting to the coast and turn west. The lane I take does not bring me to the coast road but to the sea lapping gently at its end. A dead end between apartment buildings. Oh well!
I turn the bike around. A man looks quizically at me. I am not surprised. Who is the idiot trying to ride into the sea? I stop the bike, take off my helmet. He asks me where I come from. I tell him.
"Would you like some tea or coffee?"