Day 4: Trip to Musyaf, Qala'at Marqab and Krak des Chevaliers (1)

Masyaf Travel Blog

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breakfast stop
Today’s trip would be a tour around the various crusaders castles in the area. Among the 1000+ historical sites from different eras that can be found in Syria are also several castles and fortresses which were built when the crusaders passed through Syria on their way to the promised land.

The road and surroundings could not have been more different from yesterday’s. We were driving east instead of West, through the Orontes valley towards the Mediterranean sea. Not only was the weather bright and sunny, but we were also driving through forested hills now. We passed through several areas with farmland terraces on the slopes, envoking an impression of Asia.

Like yesterday Omar had arranged a breakfast stop for us (even though breakfast was included in the hotel).

Misyaf Castle
This time we stopped at a tiny shed where an old lady was baking bread in an oil drum. It provided an excellent breakfast, flat Arabian bread with capsicum paste, which we ate while sitting next to the road, in the sun, admidst colourful flowers, chirping birds and the roaring traffic in front of us.

Our first stop of today was Misyaf or Masyaf or Musyaf, whatever, there isn't a proper translation from Arabic to latin script. The castle is a small, picturesque, partially restored castle in the middle of the town of the same name.

The castle is not really a crusaders castle, in that it already existed before the crusaders came, but it was seized by the crusaders in the 12th century and amended and fortified. It didn't really help much, as less than 40 years later it was in the hands of muslims again and to become headquarters of an extreme group that called themselves the Assassins.

It is a nice and picturesque castle, beautifully located on a hill overlooking the green Orontes valley.

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breakfast stop
breakfast stop
Misyaf Castle
Misyaf Castle
Castle Musyaf
Castle Musyaf
The beautiful Orontes valley
The beautiful Orontes valley
Masyaf
photo by: Biedjee