|Subject: Re: Syria|
I have been to Syria, 4 years ago and I can tell you that it was the BEST trip I have ever done. It was an organized tour, with only 18 people, we had with us an historician-archeologist, who, in addition to the EXCELLENT local (Syrian) guide, explained us more about the history and the importance of archeological places we have visited.
Our trip started in Damascus (we visited the town, the museum, the walls, Ommayad mosque, Azel Palace, The Citadel, The Souqs, The Orthodox Patriarch-the Antiochia Patriarch was moved to Damascus after WWII, because Turks have taken Antiochia and they have booted out the Patriarch) and from then we have been to Ma'alula, Seydnaya, Bosra (wonderful Roman Theater).
We continued to Palmyra (spend a full day there, visit the ruins and the cemeteries), Homs, Hama and stayed to Lattakia. From Lattakia we have been to Ugarit (a small village where they have found some tables with the first alphabet of the Mesopotamia), to Tartus and to Apamia (an excellent Greek Town), to Craq des Chavaliers.
Finally we have been to Aleppo. I liked so much that town, I want to go there for a second time. Maybe the Easter I'm going.
In Aleppo I stayed to one of the nicest hotels I have ever stayed: Beit Wakil. They have a web site, http://www.beitwakil.com The owner is a Syrian architect, who speaks 4 languages (English and French, among them).
I'd like to add that while in Syria I NEVER felt insecure. Syria is a very very safe country, with extremely friendly people, ready to help you, even if they don't speak any foreign language. English are spoken by the majority of younger people, French by some elderly. Italian are not spoken very often.
The food is very very good, you can take only the general precautions while traveling (drink bottled water, avoid eating from the street food sellers etc). In any case, remember that Syria is NOT dangerous.
If you need something more, please let me know. Joanna in Athens, who is very jealous you are going to Syria....:)