The best trip that I have ever taken was in Syria. I was there with a group of friends in April 2009.
To this day, I have never felt so attached to a place. Let me show you why...
The Qalamun Mountains are the northeastern portion of the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. Located northeast of Damascus, they run from Barada River Valley, in the southwest, to the city of Hisyah in the northeast.
The Qalamun Mountains are home to the Cherubim Monastery at Saidnaya.
One of my favorite photos. The camel was lying there on its own, waiting for its master to come back. I didn't dare move closer for fear I would scare it away. But in the end, the shot turned out looking better than if I had zoomed on the animal itself.
I remember taking this picture very vividly. I was very sick on that day (Traveller's Stomach) and had a hard time keeping up with the group's pace. So, I decided to try to enjoy the view rather than walking fast. When I travel or visit a place, I like to take my time and look around.
Just as I was marvelling at the wonderful spectacle of Old Palmyra's ruins, I heard voices behind me. I turned around and this is the shot you see.
I have been told that it looks like a picture from a movie set. To this day, it remains one of my all-time favorites.
(Photo number 2 is a reminigram.)
This column, which is located in Taladah, near Aleppo, Syria, is famous for being the "house" of Saint Simeon Stylites the Elder. The ascetic saint lived 37 years at its top because he wanted to get away from the increasing number of people who visited him to ask for prayers and advice. Boys from the nearby village brought him food.
Also known as the monastery of Saint Moses the Abyssinian, (Deir) Mar Musa is a monastic community of the Syriac Catholic Church located 80 km north of Damascus, in Syria. The main church boasts frescoes dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries.
According to Wikipedia, "An ancient building, stone circles, lines and tombs were recently discovered near the monastery in 2009 by archaeologist Robert Mason of the Royal Ontario Museum. Mason suggested that the ruins may date back 10,000 years and were likely constructed in Neolithic period (such as the Heavy Neolithic Qaraoun culture of the Anti-Lebanon). Further excavation and research, into this discovery, has been halted due to the threat of violence caused by the Syrian civil war."
Built in the 9th century BC, Resafa was a desert outpost then a city located in the Roman province of Euphratensis, in modern-day Syria. Its ramparts and buildings were erected by Emperor Justinian.
Resafa was a major stop on the caravan routes linking Aleppo, Dura Europos, and Palmyra. However, since there was no spring or running water, it depended on large and impressive underground cisterns to capture the winter and spring rains.
Resafa's original name, Sergiopolis, is a reference to Saint Sergius, a martyred Christian soldier who was buried there. In the 4th century, it became a major Christian pilgrimage center.
Resafa is now an archaeological site near the city of Ar Raqqah. It has well preserved walls and ruins. The Basilica of Saint Sergius, in particular, is not something you would expect to see in the middle of a desert!
Jeradeh is part of a group of 700 abandoned settlements (40 villages) in northwest Syria between Aleppo and Idlib. They contain numerous remains of Christian Byzantine architecture.
Most villages were built between the 1st and 7th centuries and were abandoned a couple of hundred years later.
One of the oldest and largest castles in the world, the Citadel of Aleppo is a medieval fortified palace in the centre of the old city of Aleppo. The Greeks, Byzantines, Mamluks, and Ayyubids (among others) occupied it. The latter erected a majority of its structures in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Recent excavations uncovered the remains of an important Bronze Age neo-Hittite temple dating back to the 3rd millennia B.C.
The Citadel has received significant damage in the ongoing Syrian Civil War.