It is not advisable that you visit Syria while the Civil War, that begun after the protests and uprising against the Assad regime turned violent in 2011, continues to rage on. The following are my stories and travel experiences from 2009 when Syria was peaceful, tolerant and one of the safest countries in the Middle East. 

For at least 5000 years Syria has endured invading armies and the influx of refugees, either absorbing them or eventually repelling them, often only leaving behind their monuments. Many of these have now become a part of daily life that once existed in Syria, a life that was largely lived in private except for the gatherings held outside next to the former crusader castle Crac des Chevaliers, amongst the Roman ruins of Palmyra, at a café near Aleppo’s central Citadel or even Hama’s splendid norias (waterwheels). 

Damascus, along with Aleppo, claim to be among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and the Souq al-Hamidiyya within Damascus’ old walled town is the site of the famous Bakdash ice cream shop, sprinkled with pistachios, is a treat any intrepid traveller deserves at least once! These are precious memories from a Syria that many will never know and I feel blessed to have visited when Syria peaceful.

Backpacking through Syria’s Northern Cities and Tourist Highlights

As part of my overland journey from India to Egypt, I would take the opportunity to visit and explore Syria, which in 2009 was stable and peaceful. My Belgium travelling companion (who... Read more >>

Ancient Damascus, Surprising Western Yet Draped in History

Damascus (nicknamed City of Jasmine ) is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on earth and on account of its physical location has been a transit point for many trading routes... Read more >>

Awe Inspiring Historic Palmyra, an Ancient Wonder and Treasure of Humanity

Situated near the center of the Syrian Desert, Palmyra - the former desert oasis trading hub - dates from as early as 200 B.C. and thrived for hundreds of years, persisting under... Read more >>