Perhaps my favourite ever train journey happened in 2009 as we made the trip from Istanbul to Aleppo in Syria. This is an account of our journey east, starting with half a day in the great Turkish city that straddles two continents……. Once more we found ourselves in Istanbul. We had booked onward trains in […]
The events in Aleppo are more than tragic. The innocent civilians are just like you and me.
With the news that there was a marble replica that would be in display in London for three days, I had of course to go and look for myself. I visited the historical site myself in May 2009 and you can see the replica and the original photographed by me below. This is how the […]
During our stay in wonderful Aleppo in 2009 we hired a taxi driver to take us northwards to two castles named Qal’at Ja’bar and Qal’at Najm. OK I am cheating somewhat as the word qal’at means castle in Arabic, but having never been to Quebec or Queensferry I was struggling somewhat for a place I have visited beginning […]
This photo was taken in May 2009 and follows the theme of Friday’s post about Aleppo in Syria. The chap I am with was the General Manager of the historic Hotel Baron in the city. He clearly loved his hotel and will of course be devastated by recent events. Inshallah he is OK…….
Aleppo has the status of my favourite city ever visited and as the metropolis that vies with Damascus as the world’s oldest continually occupied settlement of significant size, I have convinced myself that it will rise again from the devastation caused by the civil war that has raged since 2011. With the attention of the […]
This will always one of my favourite photos. Taken in 2009 in Palmyra, Syria, it is now tinged with a great deal of sadness of course. I remember at the time feeling totally elated. I love the character of camels, finding them bizarre beasts that could just as easily be mythical like the unicorn or […]
I have visited some brilliant castles on my travels (notably in Wales) but the number one for me by some distance is Syria’s Krak des Chevaliers (castle of the crusaders), situated in Western Syria close to the Lebanese border. It was built up by the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem from 1142 to […]
It is not very often that the beauty of a building brings tears to my eyes, but a rare such occurrence happened to me when visiting the main mosque in Damascus, which has stood since 715 and is considered by many Muslims to be the 4th holiest place in Islam. During the daytime the Umayyad Mosque was […]
My Lonely Planet described the atrocities of 1982 when the military of the Assad regime brutally crushed a public uprising that emerged out of Syria’s fourth largest city, Hama. Over 25,000 were estimated to have perished in the conflict. How could such an awful thing have happened in the modern era? That history has repeated […]