July 23, 2001 – Aleppo




Today is the third day in Aleppo and I really like this place. I will do nothing but going in the souks to hang around, by some soap, prepare my departure on Wednesday by train for Lattaquia. I have also the intention t go to Lebanon, so I have to make copies of the Italian guidebook. That is a good start for a Monday.


At 10 am, Massimo passes by to tell me that Eugenia is at the hospital St Louis that was recommended by the Italian consulate. The fever has dropped but it is better to monitor her situation.


So I try to find somewhere to make copies of the guidebook (mainly the city maps and transportation tips). I have to ask the help of the hotel manager because I really don’t know where to search. There is a shop near the hotel but it is temporarily closed. I take advantage of the situation to find a shop where I will buy some soap for the family and some friends. It is not too hard to find these shops because there are many in town, Aleppo is well known for its soap. Finally, I find one with a nice seller so I take 2 kilograms. With the gifts and the soap my bag weights 5 more kg and I will have to spend the 4 last weeks with a heavier backpack, nice! Short come back to the hotel and new departure for the train station to know the schedule to leave Aleppo on Wednesday. In the guidebook, it’s mentioned that 2 trains are leaving every day at 7:30 am and 3:30 pm but I am sure that there are other possibilities in the morning, I heard about it. While going I go trough the green public garden of Aleppo, in perfect condition for this summer time, and I relax a while near the big fountains.


Alep : Le jardin public


After this break, I lost my way and walk trough the street along the park. I look at the map but I can’t understand where I am supposed to be. I ask people to redirect mae in the good path. Finally here is the train station, the hall is wonderful with big paintings on the wall, it sounds quiet and the ground is unspoilt and brilliant. Nearly everybody knows the inside of the station because it is the starting point of a world known novel: Murder in the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. At the desks, I ask for the departure time, and of course they are plenty of trains in the morning for Lattaquia: 4, 5, 6 and 7:30 am. I think will take the 6:00 am train in order to have a full day free to visit Qalaat Al Saadin and reach Tartous on the coast for the night.


After this adventure episode to find the train station, another time a come back to the hotel where Massimo is doing the bags because he will sleepat the hospital near Eugenia. He gives me good news of her, that’s good. The hospital is very nice and clean, nurses are wonderful and one of them speaks Italian, like at home for them. After having the lunch at the place than yesterday, I help him to carry the bags towards the hospital where I visit Eugenia. I meet the nurse who also speaks French, wonderful hospital!! She gives me advice if I have the same problem in the next weeks: Drink Seven Up or a Coke. I leave the two Italians and resume my visit of the town.


On the terrace of the hotel, I meet two French who arrive this morning. I remember because one of the employee tried to open my door to show them the the room but he didn’t know that it was a single one and that I was in it at this moment! But I am sure that I knew them before and they ell me that we met on the terrace of the Al Harramain in Damascus. That’s right, so we make the presentation, Julien and Sandrine tell me that they have a surprise for me: Narcisse and Lydiane are in Aleppo and we should see them around 8 pm to have dinner. Finally this trip in Syria enables me to see many people again and again. To celebrate this new joining we go to… the Al Koumeh as usual. Narcisse and Lydiane explain their journey since we last met in Damascus. They went to Deir Ez Zor in the far east of the country where they met Julien and Sandrine. Here in Aleppo, they slept at the Spring Flower but the place is a dump and they will come to our hotel.


We go to bed at 1 in the morning but before we planned an excursion in Saint Simeon for tomorrow.





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D1 : Lyons – Damascus

D2 : Damascus (1)  (2)

D3 : Damascus

D4 : Damascus – Palmyra

D5 : Palmyra – Hama

D6 : Hama – Apamea – Aleppo

D7 : Aleppo

D8 : Aleppo

D9 : Aleppo

D10 : Aleppo – San Simeon – Aleppo

D11 : Aleppo – Qalaat Al Saadin – Tartous (1)  (2)

D12 : Tartous – Krak des chevaliers – Beirut (1)  (2)

D13 : Beirut – Tripoli

D14 : Tripoli – Damascus

D15 : Damascus – Maaloula – Damascus

D16 : Damascus

D17 : Damascus – Bosra – Damascus

D18 : Damascus – Amman – Dead Sea – Amman

D19 : Amman – Jerash - Amman

D20 : Amman – Madaba – Amman

D21 : Amman – Kerak – Dana

D22 : Dana

D23 : Dana – Petra (1)  (2)

D24 : Petra

D25 : Petra

D26 : Petra – Wadi Rum

D27 : Wadi Rum – Aqaba

D28 : Aqaba

D29 : Aqaba

D30 : Aqaba

D31 : Aqaba

D32 : Aqaba - Amman

D33 : Amman

D34 : Amman – Lyons




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Last update : January 2002

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