A shortened stayed in Syria's largest city.
Tuesday 29 March 2011 - Tuesday 29 March 2011
Tuesday 29 March - We had a guided tour of the city of Aleppo with a superb guide. He had a bag of boiled sweets and he used these as rewards for correct answers to the many questions that he posed to us. He took us through the huge souk, told us lots of stories about the history of the place, took us to a soap factory and eventually to the citadel that overlooks the city.
One of the many sweet shops inside the souk.
The citadel in Aleppo.
Another part of the huge souk.
A spice shop in the souk.
Part of the architecture outside the souk.
The presidential mosque in Aleppo.
The cobbler offering to buy Emma from us. We turned down his offer of $100,000.
The soap factory was interesting. They make a unique type of soap using olive oil and laurel oil, the proportions between these making different quality levels of the oils.
The men cutting the soap in the time honoured way.
We had an afternoon free and used this to wander around some of the other areas. One thing we noticed was all the shops in one street sold the same thing. For example, the street our hotel was on was solely tyre shops. There were a dozen or so shops all selling car, truck and motor bike tyres. As soon a you rounded the corner the shops all changed. Along the central square, one whole side was taken up with men's shoe shops (which means there were probably five streets of women's shoes somewhere).
Due to the political situation in Syria, it was decided to leave the country a day early and cross into Turkey. The demonstrations seemed good natured and pro government (Tim and Jordan reporting that they seemed like a great big party, especially the demonstration they got involved in), but the company decided not to take any chances. We could hear the chanting and car horns and everything all night as the main march went along the main road just right next to the hotel.