Now in the historic city of Damascus, its old city is as impressive as UNESCO makes it out to be. The Umayyad Mosque is one of the most beautiful that I’ve stepped into, and it was a delight to visit what is believed to be the burial site of St. John the Baptist. Up until this point the visit to Syria had been more-or-less pleasant, but was much easier in Kurdistan. I think this was the case because tourism was non-existent in Kurdistan, with ex-pats joking with me that I will not find postcards there for another 20 years. In any event, the sites are quite astounding in Syria and the history is equally compelling.
The food in Damascus was inexpensive, my hostel very accommodating, and the sites were amazing. Highlights – the Umyyad Mosque which houses what is believed to be the body of St. John the Baptist, and seeing St. Paul’s Gate. Breathtaking.