Kirikhan/Turkey – Damascus/Syria

Hello there! Exactly a week later I am typing these lines here already on a jordanian keybord. We are in downtown Amman, the capital of Jordan. This post was actually scheduled for Monday, but we couldn’t upload the picts anywhere in Damaskus…

Thank you for all the comments! Tom is feeling much better again and his power is back! ;) But back to last week. We left Turkey on Thursday morning and want to say Thanks! again for the hospitality of all the friendly people we met along the way from Kesan to Kirikhan.

The Syrian border was a special one for us again, because we were entering Arabia and because we had to obtain our Visa already in Berlin. Everything was fine. So that’s it – we are in! We made it! All the way from Berlin, Alexanderplatz! Great feeling!

Our first stop was Idleb, after 50 km, a smaller city in the northwest, we wanted to have a look in the centre, get some money and some food and leave. But then we met Ali with his younger brother on a motorcycle. He was talking to us in english and finally offering us to stay with him in his house and his family. He told us, that he lives in the Netherlands already for some years and is now here in Idleb to see his family and friends. So we accepted his friendly invitation right away. It was fun for all of us! Well and a very good timing for an introduction into arabic culture! We talked about the traditions, the religion, politics, his life, learned our first arabic phrases and had some good food together. hmm!

The next day they accompanied us for a few kilometers. A last picture. Good bye and Good luck! Wow, what a start! we thought, when our first day finished outside of Hama. The next two days we were cycling along the M45 – the spine road of Syria towards Damaskus, passing through Homs. Fortunately we had a wide side lane to keep at least a little distance to the noice and exhausts of all the kinds of ‚modern‘ motorized vehicles. Well, that’s not much fun at all, but we had no other option and, to put it in a better light, it is a good lesson about human behaviour/intelligence after all. It is really a shame that there is still no real option of a clean, more silent ‚automobile‘, more than 100 years after its introduction and some 30, 40 years after people recognized all the negative consequences it causes, used the way we are using it today. Cycling on a recumbent, you have, in both meanings, a very different point of view. But I am proud also, to give a little exhample of a different way of individual mobility, with human power, everyday, when cycling to work, or also here on a syrian highway. Although it feels a bit like Don Quijote must have felt…

Especially when you enter a bigger agglomeration here (and not only here) with a bike, it feels a bit like wild-water rafting (I’ve never been on one of these raft tours, but still), unfortunately in dirty, poisened waters. It needs a bit of experience and skills, no question, but so far, we are fine and we get the respect we need to stay above the water level. But of course, I don’t want to talk badly about the Syrian cities or any other cities. It is a global problem. We all have to face it and have to find better solutions, rather sooner then later, that’s all I want to say.

Back to reality. ;) We arrived in Damaskus early afternoon and found a nice and simple place in the centre with the help of Rory, a young man from Scotland, who studies arabic here. This day and the next morning we had enough time to roam trough the old town and the busy centre and to get at least an idea, a personal image, of this exciting modern-traditional arabic city, which claims to be one of the oldest and continuosly inhabited places in the world.

Thank you!


pictures to this article: Kirikhan/Türkei – Damaskus/Syrien : Fotos

13. Dezember 2006 - Maik | english texts | Kommentare :: comments :: comentarios | Inhalt drucken

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