Thursday, July 19, 2007

Two years on...

Aspects of Syria, originally uploaded by CharlesFred.

A week on from Fred’s school party, it is Thursday evening again, only this week it is hot and sunny and it has been the first day in a while when it has not rained at all. Perfect for an evening in town having a beer or two with friends. Not a late evening though, as it’s a ‘school day’ tomorrow…

Two years ago today, we were waking up early to be picked up by Henk and Martin who would bring us to Eindhoven airport for the first leg of our six month trip to Middle East and Africa. It was one of those lovely sunny mornings you get in the summer, when the sun is already strong as it throws its light down the street, lighting up the grapevine and flowers we have at the front of the house.

By early afternoon, we were already out on the streets of Istanbul in that lovely little quarter of Sultanahmet, between the Blue Mosque and the Sea of Marmara, all wooden houses, many beautifully restored and quite a few turned into reasonably priced boutique hotels. Our place, the Naz Wooden House was very charming but had impossibly small bedrooms, in which we were very lucky to be able to fit in our rucksacks.

We spent the rest of the day trying to arrange a train ticket for Aleppo in Syria, which at this stage of our journey sounded incredibly exotic and, being in Syria (axis of evil and so on), slightly dangerous. As it turned out, Aleppo would prove to be far more exotic than it was dangerous and was a perfect introduction to the Arab world where we would be spending our next few weeks. Our day in Istanbul took us across the Bosphorus in one of the big ferries, over to Hyderpasa station on the Asian side, where we very quickly, without any waiting or fuss, managed to buy our tickets for the sleeper train to Aleppo.

The evening was spent, much like this evening will be spent, enjoying a couple of glasses of Efes beer outside in the pleasant evening air.
A selection of the best photos from the trip can be found by clicking here

Aspects of Ethiopia


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