Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. --- Mark Twain

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Syria - Aleppo and Rasafa

In Syria the network connection was rather poor so it means that the next stories are posted later and the dates are also earlier ones. .

Tyrkish - Syrian border crossing was in the morning. The Tyrkish side was easier – one stamp in the passport and I could drive on. It took more time at the Syrian side.

At first the border guard checked the passport and then the actual prepearing of the documents began.
My car was parked again in the middle of a large site so in case someone would take too much interest it would be well seen. Fortunately here all the officials were in the same building.

First – to fill a visa application form and pass it through the window to get a visa. The passport was checked and the next step was to pay the money. They were glad to get euros . Then back with the receipt. At the next window my passport was stamped with the visa . This visa was just next to Sudan visa..
Next the remaining taxes – mandatory insurance and the road tax and diesel tax.

First – the insurance – I had to explain them what kind of a car it is. I draw a picture of the car on the paper to make it clearer but in the end we went together to look it over. Pehaps I am not such a good drawer.

The diesel tax is 100 USD a week. It is because the price of diesel is quite reasonable here. The price is 20 local money or 5 EEK-i a litre. A full tank is 300 EEK. And it is five times cheaper than in Turkey. Then the road taxes and and again to the barrier to get a diesel tax stamp.

Then again to a window and the number of the car was added to the passport. All the other stamps were in Arabic.

Fortunately there were very little people , practically no queues and of course a couple of would- be - helpers. Who explained in which order whole procedure is carried out. And one of them was very fluent in Russian. He said that he had learned it just there.
Driving out of the customs area the car was briefly lookid in from the side door and there it was – „Welcome to Syria“.
As to Syria according to the network information GPS is illegal here. Just now this kind of two countries are Syria and North Korea. So I put my GPS away. Every country has its own laws. For example – last spring arriving at Tunesia GPS was registered at the port
The first bigger town was Aleppo. Obligatory tourist attractions – Aleppo citadel and Old Town.



Main entrance


Outside of the Gate Tower


And inside


From the ground up.


And down.


Resored amphitheatre.


The locals wished their photo to be taken.


A quiz question - how many satellite dishes in the picture?



The town traffic was more hectic than in Turkey

Further on the road went inland. Rasafa is a desertad town in the middle of the desert. 25 kilometres away from the main road. Abandoned in the 13th century after the Mongol invasion.








The city wall is totally 1,8 km


North Gate


Restored city wall.

Here it was necessary to make decision in which direction to move on. Like a hero in a legend at the crossroads.


News from Estonia – Ministry of Foreign affairs recommends that in addition to Egipt and Tunesia to avoid travelling to Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. Being there Syria was a very friendly country.

Nothing has been said about Iraq, maybe it is possible to wait there calmly until thee situation calms down at the region :D
Next post will come from Palmyra and Damascus.

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