"Age is no importance unless you are a cheese..."
Wednesday - 13 April 2011
We were quite nervous to cross into the Syrian border as the pro democracy protests were already widespread throughout the major cities, according to the news.
|(Painting of Old Damshik)|
We arrived at the Syrian border around Maghrib and we had a smooth group border check-in and drove safely into Damascus.
|(Typical Syrian meal)|
We had a late chicken rice dinner at Carthage Restaurant and later changed bus and headed to Saifer Al-Saidah Zainab Hotel situated in the Damascus Old City.
|(The Saifer Al-Saidah Zainab Hotel, Damascus)|
Thursday - 14 April 2011
|(The great Omayyad Mosque)|
|(The Saladin Mousoleum)|
We had early breakfast but the day tour started a little late as one of our group had to be sent to hospital as he was having breathing difficulties.
|(Maqam Saydina Hussein)|
|(Maqam Nabi Yahya)|
For the day tour we visited famous Islamic historical sites including the 8th century Omayyad Mosque, one of the largest and most famous mosques in the world right in the heart of the medieval city of Damascus and situated next to the famous Al-Hamidiah souk.
Before entering the mosque, there was Saladin's Mausoleum built in 1193, set in a relaxing garden. We later proceeded inside the mosque to visit the Tomb of John the Baptist (Nabi Yahya) and a shrine of Sydina Hussein.
|(Eating ice cream at the Al-Hamidiah Bazaar)|
|(Statue of Salahuddin at the entrace of the Citadel)|
Other historical tombs and mausoleums visited were Maqam Zainab Ali, Maqam Bilal, Maqam Um-Salamah and Maqam Um-Habibah.
|(Panoramic view of Damascus from Jabbal Qassioun)|
|(A full moon at Al-Kamal Restaurant)|
After a hearty lunch at Old Damascus Restaurant and a round of shopping at Al-Hamadiah Souk, the bus ascended Mount Qassioun (Jebal Kasioun) for a beautiful panoramic view of Damascus while we enjoyed the beautiful scenic sunset.
Dinner was at Al-Kamal Restaurant in Damascus New City.
Friday - 15 April 2011
|(Masjid Omar and graveyards)|
We had breakfast and checked-out early. On the way to the Syrian border we stopped at Bosra to visit the ancient Roman amphitheatre and the surrounding historical sites and ruins, including the historical Masjid Omar.
|(The Roman Amphiteater)|
|(A group photo)|
We arrived at the Syrian border around 11.00 am for border checks.