Thursday, June 5, 2008

A trip to the desert

The vast majority of Syria is desert and after 4 months in the country it was time to go out and look at it! 3 hours from Damascus is Palmyra, an oasis in the middle of the desert interesting not only for the bare landscape but also for the incredible beautiful ruins situated just outside the town.

We spend a full day in the burning sun by these ruins. Despite the impressive attractions there were very few tourists and we enjoyed walking around taking in the ruins and the desert by ourselves. Once in a while we were “interrupted” by a guy on a moped who had spotted us and came out to try and sell us a soda or homemade necklace.

In Palmyra we were lucky enough to made a new friend. Muhammed is a real Beduin disguised as a business man – or was it the other way around? He has 60 camels and runs camel trips into the desert for the tourists. One of his camels, Casanova, came in second at the yearly camel race – an event I will make sure to witness. I was fortunate enough to get a few moments on Casanova and there is little doubt that he is a winner!