Off to Syria and Lebanon in the spring

This Christmas Santa brought me a copy of National Geographic, which had an article on Syria.  He also brought a travel magazine, which had an article on Syria.  I’ve wanted to go to Syria for a couple of years now, especially to see Palmyra. 

I went online, therefore, and checked a couple of companies.  Abercrombie and Kent wanted 3,000 GBP for a week there — a fantastic sum.  Voyages Jules Verne wanted about 1,000 GBP for the same.  I looked in TripAdvisor for some of the hotels listed; a mangy lot, as they so often are in the Arab world.  I looked at the Foreign Office travel advice.

Then I spotted a tour which combined 4 days in Syria with 3 in Lebanon, all in 5* hotels.  The last bit is important; my sense of adventure departs around 5pm, and if it doesn’t have room service, I just don’t want to know!  Lebanon would be nice too — I want to see Baalbek.

I did a search on “Weather Syria April” and got a BBC page with averages and maxima here.  I worked out when I wanted to go… and booked it.  (I won’t say which company or tour)

The thing is, if you don’t do these things now, but wait, you wait forever.  Then one day you wake up, a tired old man, only able to see the discomfort of travel.  Do it now!

4 thoughts on “Off to Syria and Lebanon in the spring

  1. Good for you, Roger.

    If I ever go to Syria, some of the places I want to like to visit are the small villages in which Christian in Syria still speak Aramaic as their daily life language – this despite the huge onslaught of Arabic and Arabdom on them. The thing I want to know is this: how were the Syriac Christians in these villages able to preserve their national languages when so many other peoples in the region, particularly the Copts, lost their mother tongue, and started using Arabic, the language of the Hijra and their invaders and oppressors, in their place.

    Dioscorus Boles

  2. It’s an interesting question. I wonder whether Turkish rule in those parts was so inefficient that large areas became desolate? Unlike in the Nile valley, where everyone was close together, perhaps villages could become more or less isolated, and so under less social pressure?

  3. Syria in four days? That’s a bit short – you need one day for Damascus; one day for Aleppo; one day for Palmyra; one day for the Crac des Chevaliers and Ugarit; even if you ignore Resapha, Mari and Dura Europos, there’s no room for transfers and a food illness, which is, for one reason or another, inevitable in Syria.

    Anyhow, the point is that you will enjoy it.

    Have a nice Christmas!

  4. Syria in four days is too short, but I wanted Baalbek, and didn’t really want much more time in Lebanon. I can do another trip to Syria only.

    The other reason for 7 days total is that I won’t need to eat much during that short a period of time, and so will probably get the tummy upset only when I get back. In and out without catching something!

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