Hummin' In Hama..

Trip Start May 02, 2006
Trip End Mar 02, 2007

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Hama, home to the famous Norias (water wheels)and our base for visiting the number 2 must see site in Syria, Krak De Chevaliers.

About Hama then. Hama in it's own right is quite a nice place and after Aleppo a welcome respite from 24 hour honking horns and pollution. We were camped in a great little hotel called 'The Cairo Hotel' which had a nice vibe about it. It was especially nice after staying in the Peep Palace in Aleppo with the creepy dudes.

There are Noria's peppered around the town and all within walking distance. The Norias were constructed to scoop water from the river and deposit it into aqueducts which then channeled it into nearby fields and gardens. They're still spinning to this day which isn't bad considering they were built back in the thirteenth century. They don't really do much these days except spin around in the horrible syrupy and stinky river. To be honest they're basically a load of crap.

They also have a knack of collecting the rubbish the Syrians throw into the river. Some friends were having dinner by the river and at the end of the meal, anything that was deemed as rubbish was simply tossed into the river by the waiters. Classy stuff but something you just have to accept in the Middle East.

We also had our first stalker of the trip. We ran into this guy while we were searching for a recommended restaurant. This being Syria the chappy offered to assist us and before we knew it we were getting a guide of old Hama which was nice of him. He then offered to show us to a nice restaurant (here we go we thought) by the river. Why not, he seemed pleasant and was only going to hang around to have a drink and practice his English. Oh no, this guy hung around for the whole meal and then resisted any attempts by us to shake him. We said we had to go and do some Internet, guess what, he came, sat, watched and talked to us the whole time. When he left to go buy something we went to a different Internet cafe but he found us again. He then said he wanted to come with us to Palmyra the next day. Enough was enough, we pulled the pin and told him we were going back to our hotel room. We were half expecting him to ask if he could come back and ask if he could watch us have sex. We think he got the message eventually but man was he creeping us out.

That's the thing with Syria. They are an incredibly friendly bunch of people. They're genuinely interested in you and very very happy that you came to Syria but there's a fine line with the whole hospitality thing. Sometimes you have lovely time and sometimes not. Flip of the coin my friends.

Well that's pretty much Hama. We much preferred it to Aleppo as we had a lovely little hotel to stay in, it was clean and more than anything else it was just a really relaxed place to be. Certainly worth a look if you're ever in the area.

And that's that.

Next pod, Krak De Chevaliers - Syria.


Nath and Kat.
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