Friday, December 18, 2020

Things Will Not Always Be As They Were

 One of the great joys of the big trip we did several years ago, was visiting Syria before the fighting broke out.

With the events of the past decade, I wonder what has become of the many children we met, who stepped forward to welcome us, to ask questions and pose for photos, kids who would now be in their late teens and early twenties.
Syria is rich in history, with a city like Damascus that has been continuously inhabited for four thousand years. Evidence at a nearby site, barely twenty kilometres away, suggests the existence of a small town from ten thousand years ago. Aleppo has been inhabited in some form or another for eight thousand years.
Apamea was a Greek and Roman city located about 100 kms southwest of Aleppo, with a population that exceeded 100,000 at the turn of the millenium (Year 0). Its most striking remaining feature is its main colonnade, nearly two kilometres long, still lined by dozens of pillars, still paved with original stones. The memory of walking that road still gives me chills.
It's a stunning site/sight that is only outdone by the extraordinary friendliness of the people of Syria. There are friendly people all over the world - we of course hail from Friendly Manitoba - but our experience in Syria is something we will carry with us to the end of our days. The occasional kiss, the firm handshakes, the effervescent smiles and enthusiastic welcomes from people of all ages made Syria a highlight of our travels.

Main Colonnade at Apamea

Wandering a bit around Apamea

Entry arch at Palmyra
Temple of Bel, Palmyra

A window at Azem Palace in Damascus. Note the cat.

One of Hama's many water wheels.

Window at Krak des Chevaliers

Looking out over the countryside from Krak des Chevaliers.

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