Sunday, May 24, 2009

Some More Beaches

Sometimes life gets a bit precarious. Other times, it gets cliche. This little ditty of a cliche, stacking rocks as if in some spiritual ritual, is still loads of fun. I mean, look at it. Nearly deserted beach...

Cats in Aleppo

There are so many cats running wild in Aleppo. Here's one resting on the roof of the ancient souk system in the old city. Perhaps, these are the longest city dwelling cats in the world. It really is a concrete jungle of sorts.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Day, Night, and the Clouds

The sun and moon play such an important role in seeing how beautiful Syria is. Light reflects in world class ways here. The first picture is in Kassab, a small town on a mountainside facing towards the east. Beeaauuutiful!
You really won't find a more chill area than the towns around the Northern coastal region. From Slunfeh, to Latakia, to Samra, it's all good.
The picture in the middle is in front of a restaurant called The View, in Latakia. There are lots of tide pools just in front, and when the sun sets, numerous reflections sparkle in the waning sunlight. The last picture is a sunset just outside of the valley surrounding Samra. The beach is getting popular every year.

Hiking for half an hour can get you to a few unnamed beaches. Giant caves, plenty of rock climbing and cliff jumping, and some marvelous snorkeling. Bring a tent and you can stay a week, spear fishing and foraging. From the cliffs you can look out across the bay and see Turkey's coastal mountain range on clear days. At night, after captivating sunsets, Turkey's lights twinkle beneath a sky full of stars.


Samra Beach and sunshine. There aren't many beaches where women can swim in bikinis and not worry about offending someone. The beaches around Samra allow coed groups time to relax without having to worry about ruffling local mores.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Beaches in Syria

If you make it to Syria and get to stay for more than a week. You have to see the Mediterranean Sea. This country is full of beautiful coastline, even though many public beaches are littered with garbage. If you don't mind hiking a bit, and prefer quiet bays that are uninhabited, then you'll have a great time relaxing under the sun. This beach is near the small mountain town of Kassab. The beach is known as Samra, after the smaller little mountain valley village up on the cliff overlooking the rocky Syrian shoreline. This is right on the Syrian-Turkish border. If the northern currents work their way down from the Aegean Sea, the water turns to different shades of blue.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Low Tide

These are pictures of a part of the old souk area of Damascus. It takes you to the Ummayad Mosque. This is early, early mornin' time. As soon as the shops open, this place is a sea of people.
Kids climbing this old battering ram like a jungle gym. Not its intended use, but when you're a kid and boredom is just a look over your shoulder, anything can be turned into a game.
Not that the Ummayad Mosque is a boring place, it's just that kids would rather play on its slippery stone floors and old giant courtyard, than marvel at its old, old mosaics and artwork.

Ummayad Mosque, Damascus

Ummayad Mosque in the old city of Damascus. Kids were running this place. I counted 8 different games of tag.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Roadside tea and bread

Earthen oven cooking. Mm Mm good. Making fatayer, with jbne (fresh goat's cheese), zatar (thyme herbal paste), or flefle (red pepper paste).

Friday, November 17, 2006

Mountain Livin'

This guy's collecting fire wood for the earthen oven the roadside tea place sports. Syria has really good munchies style baked bread called fatayer. It's like a flat burrito filled with a paste made of dried peppers or an herbal thyme paste with local olive oil, all with natural, locally produced goat's cheese, if you must have cheese. I'm going to miss this food so much when I leave.

Indian Summer

On the road to Kassab, stopped at a small tea serving roadside rest stop. Kassab's a coastal town in the mountains overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. If you turn your back to the salt water air and walk 8 miles, it feels like parts of Appalachia, kinda like the Smokeys.

Another West meets East picture

Or is it an East meets West picture? Valerie, 3rd Grade teacher, on the left, directing her student's through their song at the assembly. Aya, her assistant, assisting. No matter where you are, women always have style.

A Pair of New Clown Shoes

When I took this picture I felt rushed. I'm a first time teacher, which means I am responsible for all kinds of things new to me: crowd control/photography were just two during this pictured moment. I guess a goal of mine is to become a better juggler of things. It fits in to my whole "feeling like a clown." Dat-tat, Tara-dat, dat-dat, Tat-dara...

There's an Escalade with spinner's somewhere around here...

But, downtown AziZia's got Hummers too, beside's the classic donkey pulled carts (used for carrying produce and merchandise). The truth is, you don't normally see both on the street very often, but they're there. The old and the new.

Concrete Jungle

Walking back from the gym among Aleppo's concrete jungle.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

9/10: A little bit about cars

I once wrote to a bunch of friends that Aleppo has an exceptional car culture. This is only one of the beauties, if you like old cars that is. There're so many it's hard to get myself to take more pictures, because the chances to catch the latest BMW or the oldest, is 8/10. There's even American cars that you rarely see outside of car shows, easily found. If you want to see more, let me know. I can take more picture's easily, and, many of the owners love to show them off and tell you about them.

Ah! But there's also and over abundance of cheap cars in Syria, not worth much recognition, except for the fact that so many people decorate their Iranian made compacts (which sport lawn mower engines and excellent gas mileage) with Ferrari stickers and the necessary, patriotic facial symbols of a Syrian President, past or current. Here's what the locals call a "Suzuki." It's a super light golf cart masquerading as a pick-up truck. Everyone who uses this little hauling machine has at some point loaded it with ingenuity, although still with grave danger to the health of all motor vehiclists and pedestrians.

Notice the silver sticker on the windshield. It's a very popular sticker of the Syrian President.