Happily Lost In the Souks of Aleppo

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of Syria  ,
Thursday, November 13, 2008

At breakfast, we met some East Coast Aussies who had been to Coral Bay! Sailed in on a yacht.

Our first tour today, with a great guide (a real dapper gentleman) was of the 12th century Islamic Citadel where 3,000 people lived.
Then we escaped from Aleppo's crazy traffic (it is a city of 4 million people) into the countryside near the Turkey border to see St Simeon's Monastery and Basilica. Simeon was a bit of a strange Christian dude in the 400's AD who decided to sit on an 18 metre pillar all day to meditate. After his death in 459AD a huge Christian church was built around his pillar to commemorate him.

Back in Aleppo our driver dropped us off at the entrance to the several hectares of covered souks. We said we would taxi back and we wouldn't need him until tomorrow. We felt like escaped school children! The atmospheric markets selling everything date back to the13th century and we had a wonderful time exploring the twisting alleys.We surfaced for a very late lunch, of again wonderful Arabic food, then dived back into the souks to explore again until nightfall.  

Catching the cab back to our hotel was an entire venture in itself, we were at first going to walk, and asked a policeman which direction? and he hailed a cab!!. Then the cab driver also did not know where our hotel was, but on the pretext of buying some gum conferred with a shop keeper, all resolved.

Footnote: The Ancient City Of Aleppo is UNESCO World Heritage listed.

POSTSCRIPT 2017: How devastating to know that all this is no more thanks to ISIS bombs and ongoing war. 
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