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Damascus Travel Blog

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A bust at the National Museum in Damascus
People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia)

Once we had completed our Syrian visa formalities, our taxi driver whisked us to "Somarie" terminal in Damascus, at break neck speeds. We had already been to this particular terminal on our way to Lebanon, so we knew that there were minivans running to the centre, and thus shrugged off all of the usual taxi sharks. As luck should have it the #15 bus also ran to the centre, so we hopped on this for the 20 minute journey (10SYP/$0.20).

On our last visit to Damascus we had felt thoroughly ripped off by the Lousy Planets recommendations for Hotels, so we had found an alternative, which was the Hotel Kassr El Muloukie, located on Martyrs Square.
Lion figure at the National Museum in Damascus, with Takiyya as-Suleimaniyya Mosque in the background
For 600SYP ($12) we got an en-suite double with cable TV, but the only downside was the lack of a window. Still, it beat paying 1000SYP for a dormitory, like we had last time!

It was already getting late, so we went out for Dinner at a small hole in the wall cafe, which served up kebabs and french fries. A brief spell on the internet worked up a thirst, but we opted to buy some soft drinks to take home, as cafes were asking 50SYP ($1.10) for a small cup of tea, which may not sound a lot, but by Syria's standards really is. Anyway, it would have been cold to sit outdoors and the prospect of a night in front of the idiot box was just too good a chance to miss!

The following day was started with a visit to the National Museum, which housed some nice artifacts from Palmyra, Dura Europos and other archaelogical sites around the country.
Entry to the National Museum in Damascus
From here it was just a short walk to the Takiyya as-Suleimaniyya Mosque, which had the traditional black and white tiling, common to most Mosques in the country. Next stop was Souq al-Hamidiyya, for a strawberry ice cream from Bekdach ice cream shop, which we ate in front of the Umayyad Mosque. In the late afternoon we sat at a cafe and played tavla for some time, but it was too cold to stay for more than one cup of tea, so we retired to our hotel to finish the game and watch some movies on TV.

Fridays in the Middle East tend to be a pain in the butt, as most of the shops are closed and public transport is also less frequent. We went to the main road to try and catch a minivan to the bus terminal, but after waiting for 15 minutes, we decided to take a taxi, so as not to miss the 10.00 bus to Bosra. Been a Friday the taxis were charging time and a half, but on the upside, taxis are pretty cheap in Syria, so it only came to 120SYP ($2.50) for the 15 minute drive across town.
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A bust at the National Museum in D…
A bust at the National Museum in …
Lion figure at the National Museum…
Lion figure at the National Museu…
Entry to the National Museum in Da…
Entry to the National Museum in D…
Mosaics and a statue at the Nation…
Mosaics and a statue at the Natio…
Sarcophagus at the National Museum…
Sarcophagus at the National Museu…
Sarcophagus at the National Museum…
Sarcophagus at the National Museu…
Carving at the National Museum in …
Carving at the National Museum in…
Carving of two people, at the Nati…
Carving of two people, at the Nat…
Stone Lion at the National Museum …
Stone Lion at the National Museum…
Takiyya as-Suleimaniyya Mosque in …
Takiyya as-Suleimaniyya Mosque in…
Takiyya as-Suleimaniyya Mosque in …
Takiyya as-Suleimaniyya Mosque in…
Artinasat, a former Medressa in Da…
Artinasat, a former Medressa in D…
Damascus
photo by: Biedjee