Friday, January 11, 2008

Into Syria

Turkey was so much fun. None of us wanted to leave. After so much time in the place, we had come to love the place and the people.

However, it was time to move on.

And it was time to move further into the Middle East. While interesting, Turkey was still a very Westernised place. We were now going somewhere far removed from what we were accustomed to.

Syria was our next stop.

After another ridiculously long and uncomfortable bus ride that included stops and layovers in towns that are now drifting into my memory, we arrived at the border.

It was a chaotic place. People everywhere, running to and fro from counter to office and back. We were lost. Thankfully, the bus driver had us covered. With only a small amount of money to help things along, we were through with our passports stamped (something that was to cause me no end of issues later on.... ) and our possessions still in hand.

In Syria, our first destination was Aleppo. Long regarded as a cultural centre of both Syrian and Arabic life.

With it's beautiful and bustling souq, we could see the attraction of the place.

The Central Mosque also caught our collective eyes.
In Syria, I determined to continue my exploration of international cuisines. On recommendation, Guy and I tried the 'mamonia' (sic???). Sickly sweet with cinnamon on top.... it was something that I wasn't accustomed to.
As the days progressed, we found ourselves on top of the beautiful Citadel in the middle of the city. A nice place just to sit, drink tea and smoke a water pipe after a long day of walking and sight seeing.
Even at night, we felt the life in the city!

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