This year every Tuesday I will be recounting an overseas train journey. It could be a short hop or a long-distance overnighter. Every journey is special to me – the greatest way to travel by far.
In 2009 I was extremely fortunate to visit Syria where first stop was Aleppo, which remains my favourite city ever visited.
Whilst there we took a train to the military port city of Latakia, a city that took on strategic importance during the conflict. Our journey took us right through Idlib Province, well known nowadays unfortunately for fierce fighting.
This was a journey for the sake of it. Latakia had no real interest to us but a train journey in Syria definitely did. The train had seen better days and was badly in need of a wash & scrub up. However the interior was clean and comfortable (excepting the toilets that is!).
I don’t remember a great deal of the scenery but I do remember being beguiled by a delightful little girl who sat near us with her grandmother.
She spent the whole journey doing her schoolwork, aside from the time that she lunched on a small cucumber and pulled faces at me when she clocked me looking. I often wonder what happened to that cheeky young lady.
The non-stop train took 2½ hours and we just had time to whisk around the city and port area before heading back to the majesty of Aleppo.