Welcome to Syria! (10/29/09)

After a day in transit, we entered an extremely friendly Syria. The first sign of the mass-friendliness was that the immigration officer at the border offered us coffee, while we were filling out forms in triplicate and getting copies of documents made (and we already had our visa!). Other examples of Syrians hospitable nature were dozens of hardy “welcome to Syria” greetings everywhere we went; a free bag of Syrian candy (unclear if the boy at the cash register didn’t know to work the scale or they just wanted to give away their candy to the foreigners, we’re taking it to the latter); and the young man at the bus station who wanted to practice his English and told us that “everywhere in America is nice”, we gently corrected him on that account…

Other Syrian highlights included the food (the mix of hummus, falafel, tasty salads, pita bread, and chickpeas is essentially Meg’s dream meal); the old souq and citadel in Aleppo, the centuries old water mills in Hama, and the excellent historic fort of Crac de Chavalier outside of Homs and only a few miles from the Lebanese border (hence the title of our Lebanon entry)…

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