|Hama is a wonderful
little city with some of Syria's most friendly inhabitants.
The park in the city centre is a particularly good place
to meet people and be invited to join a family picnic,
as is the park on top of the citadel. It's also a terrific
base from which to see crusader castles, dead cities,
the Mediterranean and the mountains.
Alison & Richard Perruso, USA (July 00)
For a "must
do" in Damascus, go up the mountain (by car, taxi)
and overlook the whole city of Damascus. It's one
of the most impressive city sights possible. The best
time in summer for this is just before the prayers
for the evening begin. You can hear the sound of prayers
from the hundreds of mosques below in the valley -
a great feeling and experience.
Paul Olieman (Jun 00)
As a whole,
the warmth of the Syrian people is something we haven't
experienced in any of the countries we have travelled
around the world. We met such genuine kindness and
curiosity from people and spent as much time "talking"
to people as visiting - which was wonderful.
Claudine Helou-Bharadia, UK (Jun 00)
I can strongly
recommend attending the Greek Orthodox Easter ceremony
in Seidnayya. It is at 3 am (not the usual midnight,
perhaps because the bishop who comes up from Damascus,
has other commitments there first) and lasts for about
two and a half hours. The nuns sing the liturgy "a
cappella" (unaccompanied) with some of the priests
joining it at various occasions. It is an extraordinary
effect. You can spend the night there (quite primitive
washing facilities, but the beds are comfortable)
David Halford, UK (May 00)
has a new, very impressive museum - at al Imam street.
Hama has a new museum which is also very impressive,
on Ziqar street. It is smaller than the museum at
Deir ez-Zur but both cover pre historic periods up
until our century. The Atassi gallery, opposite the
Algerian embassy in Alki (close to the Saudi Arabia
embassy) is the best for contemporary art in Syria,
without a doubt. It is open every day in the morning
and evening, but is closed between exhibitions.
M. Abrahamsen, Norway (May 00)
Some great old
American cars are around; a beautifully restored 1952
Pontiac was doing good business taking tourists on
the Crac de Chevalier and Apamea run out of Hama.
I sighted a legendary Oldsmobile Rocket 88, as in
the Jackie Brenston opus "Rocket 88" (1951 Chess records)
cited by many as the first rock 'n' roll record, but
I digress. I'm also into vintage Volkswagen buses
- lots of them out there. I found a '55 Kombi (much
modified) working as a taxi in Aleppo, a '60 Kombi
in Damascus and also there an early 60's pick up bus
with safari windows to die for.
Ed Raw, UK (Feb 99)
Syria is a great
place to travel to with children. We were always welcomed
by people and offered sweets, gifts and camel rides.
In restaurants, waiters would play with my son for
hours. I would recommend Syria as the place to start
if you are considering travelling with a family.
Paul Wern (Feb 99)
an out of the way place, took a ridiculous amount
of finding along a myriad of winding mountain tracks
with hardly any sign posts. The scenery alone in the
search is worth it, but the site itself, easily missed
in its sheltered valley amid the trees, was superb.
The enormous sanctuary walls still surround the temple,
which although partly tumbled down, still gives an
impression of its former splendour. We felt like a
Victorian archaeologists stumbling across a lost city.
Kay Sheard, UK (Jan 2000)