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Just returned from Damascus

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I have recently returned from Damascus (Nov 2000) travelling independently from the UK (willing to answer questions). I stayed in a moderately priced hotel (El Majid) which I can heartily reccomend ($30 per night for a double) and travelled on a Turkish airlines flight from Manchester (UK) via Istanbul which cost me the princely sume of £270 ($500) so the whole trip (excluding food) cost me about £550 for hotel & airfare.
I paid an average of £3 ($5) for a big meal excluding alcohol. I paid $80 each trip per day for a trip to Palmyra and Crac (limousine with English speaking driver) booked through the tourist office in Damascus (right opposite hotel) The souk was fabulous and I bought hand-woven damascus silk for $50 (£30) a metre and trimmings at a tenth the price in UK, also fabulous household linens at ridiculous prices (but where the locals go - not in the tourist shops). A fabulous country with people who are helpful and friendly - but you must dress modestly and respect their customs - especially in rural areas. I did not take a great deal of money but I brought some great souvenirs and am already planning my next trip!

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