Syria (2009)

Has a bit of a reputation (great big deserts, great history, some great people, some nasty people and nasty rulers)

Its true that alot of the country is desert!!
As this sign suggest everyone was very welcoming.
Contrary to what some might think the above photo doesn’t show WOMD in an Axis of Evil country, but ….. drums at a soap factory!!


Right in the middle of the desert is the Roman city of Palmyra with its tombs and columns.
It doesn’t take an archaeologist to spot ancient ruins especially columns!
Columns, columns, columns, columns, columns, columns, columns.
Columns, columns, columns, columns, columns at sunset.
No just columns but temples
Temples, temples, temples, temples, temples (and a dog!).

Dead cities

Pre-2011 Assad crackdown

There are Dead Cities all over Syria. Here are ruins of a few near Aleppo.
Quite a few contain churches.

Which moves us “neatly” on to…….


Back to nasty people again.


Roman street in Bosra (note the columns again!!).
Some of the streets are still in use!
Just in case you can’t make the theatre a non-local archaeologist point its out.
What can you say (or is that see).


My guess is that this sign says “No swimming” in Arabic. Normally I would be outraged but in this case it seemed reasonable.
On this occasion, and despite the initing steps leading to the water, errh the green water (or is that chemicals) rather put me off….


Like columns, you can get falafel sandwiches everywhere.
You can also get ice cream all over the place- here in Damascus.


Like columns, you can find mosques everywhere.

These are very serious places.

As a visitor I remained serious, but the lack of shoes and polished floor was too much a temptation for many of the local kids who skated all over the place!!


There were plenty of posters to remind you is in charge of the country (and who has always been in charge).

Here is one of x president Assad and jnr president Assad. Although some people might interpret the marks on these as mud or even bullet holes, but a “man in a suit” tells me it was rust!
Here’s another of the elder jnr Assad, the elder x president Assad and Digger. Can you spot the odd one out?
Ok as you can see above, there might be fascinating culture, politics and past civilisation, but someimes you just have to do self photographs for no apparent reason.


Heres a sculpture at Ain Dara in north Syria.
And here’s another one.
To find out more about Self-Phography go the the relevant section of this website.
To find out more about the nasty rulers of Syria just watch the news.