Day 7: Aleppo

Aleppo Travel Blog

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Citadel

Setting out early in the morning, the souq was still deserted when we passed through it on our way to the citadel.

Nothing could have prepared us for the immensely impressive citadel. By now we had seen a fair share of impressive castles and fortresses, but each time we visit a new one my jaw drops once again.
A narrow stone bridge led us over the moat to a massive guard tower. It is not hard to see why in 800 years this Muslim citadel had never been conquered.

Once inside it was a maze of tiny streets and partially restored houses, gates and arches. Several buildings had been completely restored, including a mosque (what else), a bath house and an amphitheatre. It wasn’t exactly clear to me whether the Mamluk muslims also enjoyed theatre from time to time, or whether it was inspired by the remains of Roman cities elsewhere in the country.

view over Aleppo from the citadel

We topped our trip to the citadel with a nice coffee on a terrace atop one of the guard towers, overlooking the entire city. There are worse places to enjoy a cuppa in the sun.

In the afternoon we went to the National Museum, where it became clear just how rich a history this country has. So far we’d visited 12 historic sites, with 3 more to go, however, throughout the country there are over 200 important archeological sites from different eras. For the remaining 185 sites we’d have to make do with the posters and relics in the museum.

In the evening we had dinner in restaurant Beit Al-Sissi, a stunning 17th century mansion, or Khan, turned into a restaurant. It was a very atmospheric and nice dinner, lying on an original Arabian sofa, sipping excellent local beer, listening to a piano player who alternated popular classical tunes with French chansons.

relaxing a bit
The food was tasty and as usual way too much.

Somewhat less pleasant was the bill. We didn’t mind so much that this was the most expensive dinner we’d had so far on our trip, we had anticipated that. No, it was the 10% surcharge for the piano fee. What the f…?!?!? Piano fee?!?! The music had been nice, sure, but had I known I would have paid money to have him shut up!
And then the waiter slyly added that the bill was excluding service, so if we’d be so kind to leave a tip as well…

Well, that’s a mistake we won’t make again soon. Tomorrow we’re going to a small place with plastic furniture and paper table cloths again. Just as much fun (and often even better)

herman_munster says:
Funnny piano story! I would have done the same if I knew it haha.
Posted on: May 03, 2009
pms70 says:
Hahaha, I still can't get over the piano fee even though you told me the story before, you gotta love it!
Posted on: Jan 28, 2009
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Citadel
Citadel
view over Aleppo from the citadel
view over Aleppo from the citadel
relaxing a bit
relaxing a bit
entering the citadel
entering the citadel
detail of the gate
detail of the gate
inside the citadel
inside the citadel
restored hammam roof
restored hammam roof
Aleppo citadel
Aleppo citadel
Biedjee in action
Biedjee in action
inside the citadel
inside the citadel
Great Mosque
Great Mosque
inside the Great Mosque
inside the Great Mosque
Aleppo
photo by: Stigen