Day 12: Beirut - Damascus - Palmyra (2)
Palmyra Travel Blog› entry 22 of 54 › view all entries
Palmyra is widely regarded as the most beautiful attraction in Syria, so as far as that is concerned we saved the best for last. Yet another Roman city, Palmyra lies in a stunning setting in the middle of the desert.
We took a cab from the bus station to our hotel, and arranged for the guy to pick us up at sundown again as we wanted to visit the citadel, perched high on a hill, from which we would be able to see the entire Roman city, basking in the light of golden hour.
As we had some time to spend we went for a little walk, to have a quick look at the nearby ruins already. As this was a somewhat spontaneous action, neither of us had taken a camera along. That was a kind of weird experience. For the past two weeks we'd been looking at everything though a lens, and this was quite a refreshing experience all of a sudden.
Back in the hotel we packed some warm clothes and our cameras, and went up to the citadel. From here we had a good view over the entire desert city and the oasis. An absolutely stunning site, and a big one too!
As this is pretty much the most visited place in Syria (many people visit this place as a two-day excursion from Jordan) we were not surprised to find two tour buses at the entrance to the citadel. The first (and only) time we saw Japanese in this country.
Large amounts of tourists inevitably attract large amounts of souvenir sellers, and obviously we fell prey to their sales pitches as well.
“Hello, look look. Look my friend, hello? How are you? Are you with this group?”
“ehm, no, we're here on our own”
“Really? Oh, wow... so... do you want to buy something?”
“Not really, no”
(packs away his merchandise, broadens the smile on his face)
“so, where are you guys from? How do you like Syria so far? What have you seen of the country? Welcome to Syria!”
Oh, it feels great to be back! :-)
For dinner we went to this Bedouin speciality restaurant, where we had Mansaf, which is basically a kind of Paella with chicken (and without fish). Very tasty and nice to have something other than kebab or hummus for a change.