8. Travel report: Syria 18.10. - 16.11.2007

To the call of Muezzin for prayers we got accustomed, but strange in our ears sounds the Arabic popmusic. On the way to the so called "Dead Cities" the back wheel of my bike has a flat tire. While Pius does the repair job with the help of the male family members of the nearby house, I chat with the women - and later we all have tea together.

Next village we take a wrong turn and end up at a chicken farm instead the so called "Dead Cities", ghost towns deserted for about 15 centuries. There, a syrian man invites us spontaneous to his house for lunch, where we meet his 3.5 year old son and his wife. It does not take long and the other 5 children return from school. So we are lucky to experience for some hours syrian familiy life as well as the great hospitality, before we head out to the ruins. There we pitch up the tent and spend a romantic fullmoon night.

Only the hair rising hauling of the wild dogs is disturbing the quietness of this night. Zick Zack do we cycle through the desert, and over and over again, we experience the overwhelming friendliness of the people. Te visit of a castle which served as an outpost in the desert, a primary school or the so called beehive houses(which look very african) all these intense discoverings are not describable in such short reports.

The town of Hama most distinctive attractions are the wooden water wheels up to 20m in diameter. They scoop the water from the Oronto river into aqueducts and then channels it to the considerably higher laying land.

Across some rugged mountain ranges we cycle torwards the Mediterranian coast, where the influence of the Christians seems obvious, especially in the estern style dressing of the people.

Visiting a Crusaders castle led us torwards the libanese border. Because the road we cycled would have let into Libanon, we had to turn off and found ourself for about 20km on the freeway.

In the capital Damaskus, there is a colorful souq, the Old City with its blind alleys, minaretts, mosques and many exciting things to discover. Here we also met again our friends and sponsor Claudia und Salih (XVET) and were spoiled with great hospitality.

Now after the bustling city we visit the oasis of Palmyra with its fantastic ruins. From here we have 300 km to cycle through the desert, will visit then a famous roman theater before we travel on to Jordan.

Camping and
Drinking Tea

Lunch in the Desert


Mosk in Aleppo

Camping in the
Palmyra Syria, Fortress
in Jordan