Syria: Damascus

We started and ended our holiday in Syria in the capital Damascus. When we got off the plane and proceeded into the airport I wondered for a quick moment, if maybe we had landed somewhere else, as it looked like a tiny airport like the one outside my hometown of Malmö, Sweden. But no, we had landed in Syria. The passport control was interesting, as it took each passenger about 10 minutes to go through. We were asked lots of questions and they checked our passports very thoroughly for Israely stamps, which would mean you’d be refused to enter the country.

We arrived at 11pm and just took a taxi to our hotel and said goodnight. The nexy day we started by changing hotels (don’t believe everything in Lonely Planet!) and went for a wander. Already at this initial stage we noticed lots of differences to the Western world. There is so much more life on the streets. People selling snacks, fresh produce or something manufactured, and there are so many more people out. All day it felt like the London rush hour on the busiest streets.

We started our tour of the city by ticking off the big things like the souqs, the grand mosque,Azam’s palace and the rest of the old city. I don’t want to write a lot about the sights, but will show you the pictures.

Azam's Palace

The Umayyad mosque

The second day in Damascus we did a food tour, which I will write about in its own post) and when we were done with that, we took a cab to the new city, and that looked exactly as I had pictured the Middle East in my head: multi-lane roads lined with palm trees.

The hotel!

When we had travelled around the country for a week we returned to Damascus, and stayed in a fantastic boutique hotel for a night. It was lovely, the best service I have ever experienced, and I so wish we could have afford to stay there longer, but it was a lovely treat to stay there one night. Especially when we had experienced a minor sand storm earlier in the day. We basically looked liked tramps when we checked in, but after a nice long soak we looked like ourselves again.

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3 Responses to Syria: Damascus

  1. TheBlackTwig says:

    Why you changed hotels and why did you say don’t believe everything in the Lonely Planet? I want to go to Damascus, maybe not soon but my eyes are on the city. It looks very interesting and cultural. Thanks for the post.

    • Hanna says:

      TheBlackTwig: The first hotel was a recommendation from Lonely planet, but it was not nice. No towels, the shower didn’t drain properly. And it was more expensive than the hotel next door which had towels, was much cleaner, had a nice shower that drained, nice staff and was generally a nice place. I highly recommend Damascus, but it is good to do more research than just reading the Lonely Planet before you go. That’s all I meant. 🙂

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