Tag Archives: Syria

Syria Before The Conflict Part Two, Castles & Monasteries

Aleppo had proved to be a superb host city, but this did not stop us from going on a couple of full on day trips by private taxi. First up was St Simeon’s Monastery, some 30km north. St Simeon is the guy who legend has it was driven up the pole! Simeon the Stylite lived […]

Syria Before The Conflict – Part One, Aleppo

After our long journey by land from Istanbul (see previous posts) our taxi dropped us off at the iconic Hotel Baron. The famous colonial style classic had been frequented by the likes of Agatha Christie, Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill in the past and with its marble staircase & floors and wood panels the hotel […]

A Journey To Syria – Part One

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 […]

Storks, Alsace Region, France

Mother’s Day

It is Mother’s Day in the UK today, so here are some pictures from my travels in honour of mothers everywhere. And not forgetting granny…….

My Top 15 Travel Pleasures – 9 to 7

9. Riding Unusual Transport You tend to try new modes of transport on your travels, be they animal (elephant in Laos, donkey in Luxor, camel in Wadi Rum), man powered (cyclo in Saigon, rickshaw in Singapore, canoe in Vietnam) or mechanical (street car in Hong Kong, felucca in Aswan, helicopter in Monaco). My favourite mode […]

Memorable Overseas Train Journeys #4 – Turkey

Journey – May 2009, Ankara to Adana Depart 20.05 Scheduled Arrival 07.25, 674 KM Following the passport dramas at Ankara train station, we were finally able to relax on the Toros Express bound for Adana in Eastern Turkey as we followed our route into Syria. After dumping our gear in our sleeper compartment, we shuttled […]

Palmyra’s Triumphal Arch

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 […]

A-Z April Challenge – Qal’at Najm

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 […]

Sunday Photo – 20

This is another of my favourite photos from Syria. It shows me and my travel buddy Hamish with the marvellous castle of Krak des Chevaliers behind us. Notice we were wearing identical t-shirts – a thoughtful gift from Mrs Wilbur presented to us on the morning of our departure.

Friday Photo – 19

In celebration of the news that apparently Palmyra is not as badly damaged as had been thought, I am posting one of my favourite pictures taken from my trip in May 2009. May the great site stand tall again and delight travellers for generations!