Trip Start Sep 07, 2010
126Trip End Mar 13, 2011
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From the museum we decided to stop and ask for help at the ‘information centre’. Unfortunately the lady behind the desk was as helpful as a brick wall. I think an English person would have called her a ‘muppet’. We decided to go back towards the hostel/ Juice street to grab a breakfast smoothie and regain our bearings. Armed with our German map we continued on to our second landmark the Ottoman style Bab Al-Faraj clock tower (actually built by an Austrian in 1898 :P) which was next to the Sheraton hotel, again we got a little disorientated and had to stop and ask for help. We arrived at the Aleppo Citadel via the backstreets and after circumnavigating the Citadel (they used to fill the trench with water) to find the main entrance we bumped into Mick, Maureen, Annie and Natalie at a local restaurant, they had decided to sit the Citadel out. Amy also decided to sit this one out and waited with them.
Another UNESCO site, the Citadel dates back to the 3rd millennium BC and has been occupied by the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Ayyubids and Mamluks. It is apparently known to be one of the largest and oldest Citadels in the world never to have been forcibly taken. Having seen Crac de Chevalier the day before this citadel and a lot to live up to
After the Citadel we walked through one of the main Souq streets (there are 16km of Souqs in Aleppo) passed many shops selling clothes, spices, meat, remote controls and toys, falafels and anything they could! As we weren’t in a shopping mood, we scooted through quite quickly, but were impressed the roof coverings, and nearly got run over by a few donkeys and many carts.
Funnily enough we headed back to the free falafel shop for lunch! This time we also got a bottle of water for free and enjoyed the hot falafels made fresh and offered free by the rather eccentric old shop owner. We’re not sure how he makes money if he keeps giving the food away, but they are mentioned in the lonely planet and famous amongst backpackers and overlanders alike.
Early start tomorrow morning to get to and cross the Turkish border, so we opted for a quite afternoon in before heading out for a meal at the local kebab shop and a stock up of mini pizzas for lunch tomorrow. We said our goodbyes to Toby and Alice who finished their tour with Oasis in Aleppo. They are heading back to Damascus tomorrow for a few days before flying home to the UK. Group now down to 15 and onto our last country.