Just back from Syria and Lebanon

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May 2nd, 2000, 07:59 AM
  #1
michele
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Just back from Syria and Lebanon

Just back from a a great trip to Syria (about 10 days) and Lebanon (3 days). We traveled independently in both places. I'd be happy to answer questions. It was a wonderful and glitch free trip.
 
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May 3rd, 2000, 04:29 PM
  #2
Martha
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I have a couple of questions. Could you recommend an inexpensive hotel in Damascus? Also, we want to arrange a one day trip from Damascus into Lebanon to see Baalbek. Could we just do this the day before we want to go ( in July) or should we try to arrange it in advance from Canada? If so, how?
Thanks in advance.
 
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May 4th, 2000, 08:09 AM
  #3
michele
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Well, I am afraid I won't be of much use to you. What do you mean by inexpensive? We stayed at the Semiramis, which is expensive by Syrian standards and moderate by US standards ( around $100).I would urge you, as you are traveling in July, to consider air-conditioning as Damascus gets hot and polluted in the summer. As for Baalbek (fantastic) I would arrange it from Canada as there is bound to be some redtape. It just would be one less thing to do while you're on vacation. I used Jasmin Tours in Damascus to arrange a few day trips ( I arranged this in the States). My contact was Mr. Ghassan Mafouz. I was VERY pleased with their service. I have the address and email at home. Please feel free to email me there if you want it.


 
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May 6th, 2000, 09:08 AM
  #4
JimJ
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You just took the exact trip I would like to take around next October. I'd like to know as much as possible, Did you travel independently or on a tour? How did you get between Syria and Lebanon. What class hotels? How expensive. Was Palmyra as great as it looks in pictures? Any information welcome.
Thanks
JimJ
 
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May 8th, 2000, 08:35 AM
  #5
michele
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Jim,

We traveled independently, aranging day trips from Damascus (Kerak, Bosra, Maalula, Sednaya) through Jamine Travel in Damascus.(Also, to Palmyra, and then Aleppo). It was about $90 a day.Our driver was wonderful. We had tea and then a lunch at his home. I arranged the trips from the US, so everything was ready to go when we got there. We went to Lebanon first, stayed at the Mayflower Hotel in the Hamra section, a perfectly acceptable place, nothing luxurious, but fine.(Under $100) There are lots of cab drivers who postion themselves outside the hotels. We hired one for trips to Baalbek ( incredible), Tyre, Sidon, and into the mountains. He drove us to the Syrian border and arranged for another cab to take us to Damascus ( that was about $20). Lebanbon is on par with LA in terms of prices, Syria is cheap (mostly).

In Damascus we stayed at the Semiramis which is rather like a Mariott. Great location, very friendly staff. It was about $100 a night. In Palmyra, due to no rooms anywhere else, we stayed at the ORIENT. Spartan place, clean , good for one night. If you can, stay at the Zenobia, right in the middle of the amazing ruins. VERY atmospheric.. In Aleppo we managed one night at the DAR ZAMARIA/MARTINI which was gorgeous. It was the home of a wealthy merchant and is now a hotel ( the other similar hotel is the BEIT WAKIL...fabulous). The other three nights we were at PLANET ALEPPO (!), a standard commercial hotel in a good location. Both the Semiramis and the Dar Zamaria/Martini were around $100. The others were MUCH less. I think THE ORIENT came out to be around $40.

Email me at home where I have all my information. Also, I posted a restaurant recommendation, THE ARABESQUE, in Damascus, which you might want to make a note of as the bill of fare in Syria is monotonous.

Michele
 
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