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Walking Over Haddon in The Peak District

I confess I'm a fair weather walker, which means I often want to walk on our holidays, but whether we go is always dependent on the weather. I have a Goretex jacket but it's like a talisman. I own it, but I don't want to wear it and I hope vainly that just by having spent so much on it an schlepping it with me that it's going to ward off the rain! As you can see my travel planning involves a good deal of "magical thinking!" In California our cultural exuberance (paired with low standards) means we shamelessly call anything a "hike"  - as if we've scaled Everest in an afternoon. Here in England I'm not sure I even qualify as a "walker" because that denotes a level of seriousness I've failed at previously. Minimally it means you're wearing boots  and have an Ordnance Survey map (and possibly a compass) in your back pocket. I guess I'm more of stroller to be honest and I've blogged about my strolls all over the world; m…

Bringing the Dead Cities to Life

UPDATE: This post was penned in the Spring of 2011 following our visit to Syria in March. We had no idea the direction the conflict would take. When we planned our trip Syria had been undergoing an opening up to tourism. Yes, there were protests while we were there but it seemed like the beginning of an Arab Spring. We naively hoped it might be a positive transformation rather than a descent into chaos. I'm horrified to think of what may have happened to the beautiful, friendly and welcoming souls we met in Syria.

I've posted quite a lot about our recent trip through Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, covering some of the well known destinations like Baalbeck, Palmyra, Petra and the Dead Sea. But a trip like this  is also about the smaller, less know sites and the people you meet there. 
Entering Serajilla


The light was so lovely in the late afternoon
Outside of Aleppo are hundreds of what are described as Dead Cities, Byzantine towns that were abandoned for unknown reasons. There are almost as many explanatory theories as there are Dead Cities; they may have been abandoned because of drought, changing trade or pilgrimage routes, earthquake or disease, ultimately their rapid decline remains unknown. We visited Serajilla which was very atmospheric and many of the buildings were intact enough to convey a sense of the past lives lived here.




If you visit on the weekend, Friday or Saturday, the Dead Cities are brought back to life by local families out for picnics. Children run about, young girls  dance to the sounds of a small boom box and we could smell meat  grilling. We loved meeting Abu Omar (a retired English teacher) and his family, above, who invited us to join them for their family day out.


Caravanserai
The ruins seem to go on and on
Posing for the camera, I'm sending on the picture

Some of the buildings looks as if they were abandoned recently

Comments

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