A citadel for your birthday

Hama Travel Blog

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Today is Kim's birthday.  And for his birthday I organised a day-trip from Hama was to Krak de Chevaliers (Qala'at al Hosn) described by some as the most impressive medieval castle in the world. Now, this wasn't just another crusader castle ... this is THE one that we came to Syria for ... especially. It was mega huge, and pretty intact considering the little restoration and its age (around 800 years). Gotta to see the place to believe its size.

Being a public holiday, the crowd was unlike at other sights (virtually NIL). The place was infested with school children ... fancy taking them to a place which is basically a labyrinth where you could lose them ... or where you could push them off the roof of the towers (there were no railings). Its like taking children to the Grand Canyon after you've taken away all the safety features.

Stopped briefly at a monastery. I've now come to terms with Christian priests giving Arabic or Muslim-style greetings ... why not, the same meaning and intentions in both religions, translate to the same words in the Arabic language. Now also accustomed to seeing pictures of Jesus and Virgin Mary surrounded with lots of Arabic inscriptions. And FYI, Saturday in Arabic is Sabat or Sabat-yom (very similar to another regional language south of the border).

We were at first disappointed at not having the sight to ourselves but later appreciated the colour the crowd added to our experience ... Kurdish line-dancers among the visitors, dancing to their drum-beats. And people from near Chechnya dancing to their accordion.

 

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photo by: Biedjee