Sunday, 8 June 2008

Fourth Day Tour in Syria and Peace at Sea

Hi from Clare, 30/05/08

Photo 1 - Saladin's Castle drawbridge entrance Photo 2 - Saladin's Castle steep wall Photo 3 - Ron taking it easy after a busy day Photo 4 - Andrew happy in his habitat

We had a good tour this morning (Friday 30th). The pace of the rally is pretty hectic and at times I am tempted not to go on one of the planned excursions. But then that little voice in my head starts "Why come all this way and not take in the sites"

Just briefly, the 4th day tour consisted of a visit to Saladin's Castle, captured in 1188, and described thereafter as the most impregnable crusader fortress; an "eagles nest". It has steep walls and the only way in was via a draw bridge [Picture 1 portrays an obelisk that took 40 years to be cut through the cliff face - it then had drawbridges each side]. It was a very impressive sight.

Then on to Ugarit ruins discovered in 1928, the archaeological layers confirm 5 periods of life. We saw the top layer, 1500 BC. The fifth layer dates back to 6000BC. The site was interesting but a good imagination was required.

Our Syrian guide was excellent; pleasant, dedicated, knowledgeable and patient. He had the unenviable task of leading a free spirited and somewhat undisciplined group of yachties through Syria. When touring in a group some would "deviate from the plan and catch up later" "talk while the guide was speaking" "not listen and constantly asked questions on information he had already covered. "arrived back late to the bus every time" How he maintained his cool was beyond me; the man is a saint.

We left Syria around 4pm Saturday for the 105 mile trip to Jounieh, Lebanon. It is now 7am on Sunday morning (1st June)and our ETA is midday, everyone is in bed and so I have some quiet time. As you can guess, we are glad to be back on the boat and return to the peaceful life.

love CANDY

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