Aleppo, Syria

After a long drive in the pouring rain Assam and I finally arrived in Aleppo in the north of Syria to check out the old and new city of Aleppo. The low cloud cover and torrential rains seriously limited the accessability to the city as the souq was basically flooded and extremely muddy. The little Suzuki trucks and the donkeys didn’t seem to mind as they plowed through the puddles and splashed everyone and everything in their way. To be fair, it reminded me of the souq in Marrakech, Morocco which was amazing to be in but the rain and the freezing cold and wind made it difficult to enjoy. It didn’t take me too long to get fed up with the old city so I headed over to the new city.

The new city is where most of the restaurants and certainly all of the new chic little hotels which are again like the Moroccan Riyads. The restaurant that Assam knew was as good as advertised and after having a little look around, the rain and wind was just too annoying so we started back to Damascus which is where I am now and it’s still raining. Hopefully it will stop before I head out for dinner later but either way, I now have an umbrella!

It’s too bad I didn’t get to really experience Aleppo as it is supposed to be wonderful and very cool but I got the gyst of it and you know-it’s not always sunny. Sometimes when you only have one day to do something it rains and can tarnish your experience but I would never tell anyone not to go there because I could see why it is so well regarded and even though I didn’t get the best experience it was still an experience I am glad I had.

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  1. Thats a shame about the weather in Aleppo. It’s a brilliant place and is similar to Morocco. I hope you get the chance to get back and try it again dry.

  2. It is a shame of the weather in Aleppo, it is a very cool and interesting place. I backpacked through the Middle East last year and it was one of the highlights for me. I am sure you will see it someday wehn it is better weather.

  3. Hey Lee — I’m in Aleppo now (actually using the Internet at the Sheraton — I’m not staying here, but at the Baron Hotel, in the room that Agatha Christie was staying in when she began “Murder on the Orient Express”). Shame you had such a short visit — very interesting souk and citadel, and some intersting day trips, which I’ll tackle tomorrow, like the Dead Cities and Apamea.

  4. Hey Michael, good to hear from you. It rained like hell when I was there and kind of screwed me in Aleppo and ya I only had a day anyway so I was at mother natures mercy. Glad you’re enjoying it as I am enjoying Brussels and will hit Luxembourg tomorrow and then to Paris for several days plus the French Open. Safe travels.

  5. I’m off to Beirut in the morning. I was at the French in 1999 and saw Agassi come back from two set down against Dominick Hraby (I think that’s his name).

    I was in Luxembourg in September — I’m glad I was only there for one day.

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