July 30, 2001 – Damascus




Today is dedicated to what was closed on my first Tuesday in Damascus. Museums are closed on Tuesday.


I take advantage of this morning to do again the pictures that I missed when I had this camera problem. I go back to the Omeyyades mosque where a Syrian wants to show me the mosque. The visit is interesting and he explains me some stories that were not in the guidebooks.


Damascus : Omeyyades Mosque – St John The Baptist tomb


I also visit the Azem Palace that is taller than the one I visited in Hama. This palace was transformed into a museum of craft industry and traditions. Many rooms are composed of life scenes with a lot of tools and things from various times.


At 1 pm, I go to the Karnak garaj to know the departures to Amman. There are 4 buses a day at 7am and 9am, and at 3 and 4pm. The price is USD 6 or 5 JD, they seem to refuse Syrian pounds.


Then I visit the national museum of Damascus. It is a great and big museum with many items to show. It is even better than the one we saw in Aleppo and it deserves many hours. In a room, I meet Gael and we visit the other rooms together. In one of them, there is a Palmyrean tomb (2nd century) with all the faces of the dead sculpted. The other magnificent piece, are the remains of the Synagogue of Doura Europos (3rd century). The walls were fully preserved because they were in the ground covered by dust, sand. The walls were discovered in 1931 on the site (far east Syria near the Iraqi border). We can see many scenes from the Old Testament. The strange things are the representations of animals and humans usually banned from Israeli places.


After the visit we go to the post office and I buy some stamps representing Bachar Al Hassad and then we have a drink in the cars of the Orient Express at Hedjaz railway station.


After this, we eat some chawarmas on the Martyrs square near the hotel.


Tonight, the Polish want to invite us in a café in the old town where some friends of them who study Arabic spend the evening. But the café is crowded so we go to the Al Nofara stairs next to the Mosque. We are back in the hotel at midnight.





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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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