July 28, 2001 – Tripoli (Trablous) – Damascus




This morning we are going together to Bcharré to see the famous cedars. We take a shared taxi with two East Europeans. It takes us 1 hour to go there (3,000 LL).


In the village, the driver asks for 2,000 LL each to go to the cedars at 9 km. The Australians and I decline the proposal. They decide to go to a museum and I start climbing the road that leads to the cedars. I hope that a car will stop to take me. The two other travelers accept the deal but they will pay for the 5 seats (10,000 LL).


On the 9km of the road only one little truck will stop to drive me for 1 km. And it is around 11 am that I reach the forest


The remains of the forest is now protected in a park under the attention of the cedars’ friends foundation. Here everything is done to fully protect the cedars and visitors must walk in alleys and all food and drinks are forbidden inside the park. The visit is quick but the trees are really beautiful. It is har to believe that this region was covered with these cedars. A program of re-introducing the cedars in the landscape is under way.


B’charré : Cedar


For the return to Bcharre, I have the opportunity to test one more time the motorbike. I really appreciate the trip without a big bag on the back and a great driver. Thanks a lot for the ride!


The taxi leaves Bcharre with only 2 persons inside but I will only pay my seat and the trip will seem to last forever because we stop a lot and ve make various roads to finally reach Tripoli. I leave a message on the book at the pension and I prepare myself for the departure. I talk ultimately with Helena and wish them god speed for the rest of their trip.


The bus leaves on time and it doesn’t take the road to Beirut but the one to Tartus in the north. Our crossing of the border is epic, a real pigsty. The scene in front of me remember me movies scenes in Latin America where you have a narrow road with forest on both sides and a lot of huts and vehicles everywhere trying to pass through the borders. I have a little problem on the Lebanese side because the official at the desk believes that I didn’t writ my correct name because he sees a M instead of a N. So I try to explain that I write my name with a N since I was a child. He laughs and stamped the passport. Thanks ! The atmosphere is the same on the Syrian side but the driver takes my passport in order to accelerate the move. I am one of the first passengers to be welcomed in Syria and I take time to watch to a splendid banderole where it is written: Welcome to Hassad Syria!!


After a short break on the highway to eat and drink something, we arrive at 8 pm in Damascus. Now I know the city and it is with no problem that I find my way to the Al Haramain hotel. But the manager tells me that the hotel is full and it is also the same answers from the two other backpackers’ hotels in Damascus. I try to check another hotel stated in my guidebook but it is too expensive for me 35 USD, I could spend another two weeks in a cheap hotel for this amount. So I come back to the Al Haramain asking to sleep even on the floor because I am tired. The manager offers me to sleep on a seat in the patio. I agree and I book a place on the roof for the next two nights.


In the hotel, I meet Gael, French from the same city of Saint Etienne. It is hard to believe it and we have some acquaintances in common!! I also recognize the three Polish that I met in Hama at the Cairo Hotel. We seat at talk for a long time waiting for the water to come back around 2 am.





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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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