First day in Syria
Jun 20, 2007
In the restaurant of my hotel, I saw a picture of the coliseum in Bosra. It looks amazing. Like Shakespeare's theater, but 1500 years earlier, and made of stone. I decided I had to check it out.
The plan - head from Derask (is that where I am?), to Der'a, then to Bosra to see the coliseum, then up to Damascus in time for a 7pm online meeting for work. It seems like an awful lot for one day, but I'm going to give it a shot.
It turns out to be surprisingly easy. I'm out the door at 9am. I eat breakfast at my hotel. I step outside the hotel and 5 minutes later, I've hitched a ride to Der'a for 200 Syrian pounds (US$4).
I'm dropped off at the bus station in Der'a and I quickly find a minibus to Bosra, and 5 minutes later we depart. I'm in Bosra by 10:30. I leisurely walk around the ruins sightseeing and talking pictures. I'm done by 12:30, and go look for a bus. The bus doesn't leave until 2pm, but I'm not in a hurry anymore. I have tons of time.
The bus shows up on time, and I'm in Damascus by 4pm, hours early for my meeting. Traveling in Syria is shocking simple and efficient as compared to some of the places where I've been where you might have to wait 2-days for a bus to show up.
The thing that strikes me immediately in Damascus, are the pictures of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian President. Pictures of him, big and small, are everywhere in downtown Damascus, always watching you like big brother. I've never seen anything quite like it before.
I check into a nice cheap hotel, and head off to work.
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