Heading towards Iraq

Dayr az Zawr Travel Blog

 › entry 16 of 32 › view all entries
Ashmamis citadel.


So, after talking to my hotelier Abdullah yesterday, I traded my trip to Lattakia and Aleppo for a town near the south-east border crossing into Iraq!  He (along with other travellers) said that Lattakia wasn't nice and I could instead have a cool dip in Lake Assad while having a view of an ancient citadel!

Along with Ammi and Salome (South African couple) and our driver Abdul Kader, we left at 7am.

We stopped briefly at Qalaat Al-Shmemis (Ashmamis  Castle) where I hiked up to the remains of the moat.   This was followed by a brief photo-stop at some beehive houses.

Our major sight was Rasafa, a huge ancient walled city.  Most of what we see now is left over from the Romans 1500-1800 years ago.
Next was Jaabar Citadel.

Ashmamis citadel.
  This was a Mesopotamian style citadel but the difference here is that since a dam was built across the Euphrates (with Soviet assistance), the citadel is surrounded largely by beautiful turquoise water.  Very pretty.

After lunch, it was getting a bit late and it seemed like too difficult to have a swim ... the usual reasons ... changing, shoofis (staring squad), changing back, carrying wet clothes .... so we bundled ourselves into a bus bound for Deir Al-Zur.

A couple of hours later, we started seeing signs pointing towards Iraq.  And shortly after, we were in the town of Deir Al-Zur.  It sits by the Euphrates river, with its lush banks.  The icon of the town is a pedestrian suspension bridge across the Euphrates. 

It is a remote and conservative town with few visitors.   During our stay, Salome got a lot of stares and eventually resorted to wearing a headscarf. 

 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Ashmamis citadel.
Ashmamis citadel.
Ashmamis citadel.
Ashmamis citadel.
From Ashmamis citadel.
From Ashmamis citadel.
Near the top of Ashmamis; looks li…
Near the top of Ashmamis; looks l…
Ashmamis citadel.
Ashmamis citadel.
Beehive houses.
Beehive houses.
Beehive village.
Beehive village.
Rasafa from afar.
Rasafa from afar.
Inside Rasafa.
Inside Rasafa.
Basilica at Rasafa.
Basilica at Rasafa.
Inside Rasafa.
Inside Rasafa.
Walls of Rasafa.
Walls of Rasafa.
Cistern at Rasafa.
Cistern at Rasafa.
Inside Rasafa.
Inside Rasafa.
Main gate of Rasafa.
Main gate of Rasafa.
Looking up at Jaabar Citadel.
Looking up at Jaabar Citadel.
At the top of Jaabar Citadel.
At the top of Jaabar Citadel.
Lake Assad, an artificial beauty a…
Lake Assad, an artificial beauty …
On Jaabar citadel.
On Jaabar citadel.
Lake Assad, an artificial beauty a…
Lake Assad, an artificial beauty …
On Jaabar citadel.
On Jaabar citadel.
On Jaabar citadel.
On Jaabar citadel.
On Jaabar citadel.
On Jaabar citadel.
Jaabar citadel.
Jaabar citadel.
Hot hot hot at Deir Al-Zur.
Hot hot hot at Deir Al-Zur.
Dayr az Zawr Hotels & Accommodations review
Friendly owner makes the place
Mr Nurreddin makes this place. He speaks good English which makes it easier for him to be hospitable and helpful. Otherwise it is just another… read entire review
Dayr az Zawr
photo by: alexchan