My Syrian Experience...
Highs: Umayyad Mosque; watching people pray at the mosque; getting shown around by a local;
seeing where a local resident lives.
Lows: No lows that I can think of.
Best Moment: Watching the rituals at the Umayyad Mosque.
Craziest Moment: In honor of accepting the hospitality that Syrians are known for, I went to a
Syrian man's apartment so that he could show me his home (much more innocent than it sounds).
Smells: No prominent smells (cigarette smoke just goes without saying in the Middle East).
Sounds: People crying at the tomb at Ummayad Mosque; chanting of a mass of people starting at
the souk and leading up to the mosque.
Sights: Umayyad Mosque; people praying; traditional souq; National Museum; men walking
arm-in-arm and hand-in-hand with other men; cobblestoned streets of old Damascus.
Tastes: Different filled breads (about the size of dim sum dumplings); ice cream; Syrian chocolate
(Ghraoui); mixed fruit juice.
Street Food: Great juices; breads with different fillings; gummy candies.
Fun Food Finds: Didn't really see any.
Western Companies Out Here: I haven't seen any in Damascus (though I did see a Dunkin'
Donuts right before we showed our passports at the Syrian border).
Other General Info...
Visa needed? Yes. I got it back in the U.S. by sending my passport to the Syrian consulate in
Washington, D.C. It was $100 and took one week to get back.
Type of currency? Syrian Pound. One U.S. Dollar equals approximately 50 Syrian Pounds.
Wallet Friendly? Yes. However, not very many 'restaurants'. Mostly street food and small
Things Syria Is Known For: Hospitality; ruins (particularly Palmyra, the Roman forum in
Bosra and Crac des Chevaliers).