Culture Shock !!!!!

Trip Start Sep 26, 2010
Trip End Oct 03, 2010

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Where I stayed

Flag of Syria  ,
Monday, September 27, 2010

My arrival to Aleppo seemed to be long and perilous much to the many centuries ago when men and women traveled along the road trading and networking along the way, only this is the year 2010 and i was arriving by air, a concept never even thought of in those times. The flights were not bad but were long and i advise going and finding a direct flight if you can as it is only 7 or 8 hours away. I exited the plane and looked at my surroundings, the airport seems quite small, traditional more like a secondary or even local airports we see at home (very basic). I eventually got down to customs and border point and if it weren't for several signs held up i would generally be in panic mode. We arrived at around 2.30am at the Sheraton Hotel in Aleppo, much to my pre-conceptions about the infrastructure of the country, many of the hotels are fully modern and equipped with the amenities you will find in most hotels.

NB. -
Syrian Custom and Borders

Much like any airport you will find these checkpoints (please excuse the dumbness when i explain everything about everything but if there is another traveler like me out there reading this, they will thank me). Expect long delays and queues, it seems that the airport does not get many large influxes of people often and therefore we waited quite a bit. One thing i was thankful for was our guides and assistants from the Ministry of Tourism who were there assisting us in the border process and as i speak only a few words of Arabic, thanks to a taster given at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) this could have been a little more awkward. My initial experience would advise the following if traveling to Syria and flying into either Damascus or Aleppo, hire a fixer or guide to assist you  (unless you speak Arabic yourself) as this could save long delays.

Sheraton Hotel, Aleppo

Now obviously i was invited by the Ministry of Tourism to attend a Festival in Syria and there were many delegates, but the hotel is a Starwood Company owned and you can reserve a room online, the average room rate is based on a king size bed and coffee facilities (the rooms are large and even grandeur but with modern and hi tech amenities) costs 120 pn inclusive of buffet breakfast.
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