Day 30: Amman - Damascus
Damascus Travel Blog› entry 53 of 54 › view all entries
Our previous border crossing into Syria had been relatively easy (despite the ridiculous bureaucracy) but today's border crossing was a lot more elaborate and strict than when coming from Lebanon. It is obvious that Jordan (with its pro-US politics) has quite a different relationship with Syria than Lebanon has.
As we had already had to pay for our visa twice, we didn't really feel like forking out the money a third time. As we are flying home a transit visa would suffice. But a transit visa costs money too, albeit a lot less, so once again we had to go through the ordeal of having to exchange US dollars into Syrian pounds to pay for the visa stamps, despite the fact that we had plenty of Syrian pounds already. We had our little revenge on the Syrian bureaucracy in the end, as the clerk at the exchange office exchanged our wad of dollars twice.
Once in Damascus we checked into yet another hotel. Whereas in Amman we had kept coming back to the same hotel every time, in Damascus we stayed in a different hotel each stay. The first one had been too far from the centre (and not really value for money) the second had been way too noisy and on our final night in Syria, we had finally found a good place to stay: the Ghazal hotel, situated at a stone's throw from the old city, in a little quiet street.
We went into the old city to do some souvenir shopping.
At the end of the afternoon we went to Hammam Noureddin once again. This had been quite a unique and special experience last time, and definitely worthwhile to experience it a second time. With the exception of the massage we did the whole program once again.
As usual we were quite the curiousity and we were constantly approached by other patrons and staff who were curious about where we were from and how we liked Syria. Yup, we were definitely back in Syria!
After the Hammam experience we settled down on a little sidewalk café behind the Umayyad Mosque to enjoy our last Arabian tea and our last sheesha, while watching the streets come back to life after the Friday afternoon mass in the mosque.
Dinner was another repetition. On our previous last day in Damascus we had had a terrific dinner in Restaurant Elissar so we went back there another time. For the last time Hummus, for the last time Kebab. I will sooo miss this food...