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Shocking discovery

View 2002 Russia & Europe via Lebanon & Syria on alexchan's travel map.

We travelled from Aleppo [Aleppo-travel-guide-1185271] to Damascus [Damascus-travel-guide-1184988] by bus. The buses and bus stations here are quite organised ... perhaps highly organised if you speak the lingo. The standard of the buses here are about the same as Turkey ten years ago, and that is a compliment.

On our second day in Damascus we suffered a shock when we checked our email, finding our flight from Amsterdam to St Petersburg had been cancelled due to a dispute between the Russian and Dutch authorities. We worked quickly with our travel agent and KLM and managed to organise alternate flights which brought us here half an hour earlier via Copenhagen (as well as Amsterdam). Had to work hard to get this resolution as alternatives proposed by the airline weren't very attractive ... arriving late at night, or two days later, or a day earlier (which would have seen us turned away upon arrival as our visas would not yet be valid).

On our third (and last) day we went to a village called Maalula which was about 1 hour out of Damascus. We walked up to the Convent of St Thecla and then her grave and shrine. We went further through a long narrow passage through the rocks to the Convent of St Serguis and St Bacchus. This village is somewhat significant as people here still speak Aramaic, a nearly extinct language spoken by Jesus (it is believed).

Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Syria

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