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Category Archives: travel

It has been a long summer. I finished my last exam in May and my next semester starts in October. When in Rome, you do as the Romans do, and when in Japan, you start the semester late. Hey, I am not complaining. So far I have been working and saving. Saving for Japan but first, Thailand. Yes and you are nowhere near as excited as me right now. Anyway, I am going to my second (or first?) homeland for a very interesting one-month internship. If it works out well this job might be something to set a goal towards in the future. But work is not all. Of course I have family, friends, food, climate, culture and a hundred more things to look forward to. I could go on for a long time but this post is allready too long. Thailand here I come!!!Flag of Thailand

Aleppo was our first real stop on our two week trip to Syria. Aleppo is among the cities that have had the longest continuous habitation in the world. Among the main attractions is the Aleppo Citadel, considered to be among the oldest and largest castles in the world. The citadel heights gave a perfect view of the city. There were yellow flowers everywhere in the open caste grounds and art students were sitting around practicing their skills on the old, part ruin motifs.

Another great attraction, a minibus ride out of town is the ruins of the church of Saint Simeon (born in 390), an eccentric Christian ascetic saint who is famous for living for many years on a small tall platform to avoid the people who visited him for teachings… Nowadays the grounds where he used to live is a popular retreat for the locals to come and relax, play and look at the ruins and soothing natural surroundings. Among the stranger experiences of the visit was the meeting with a girl school class. It seemed like they were not too used to meeting westerners (although we did see some other western tourists there among the locals) and they were eager to get photos together with us. For a while I felt like a tourist attraction myself. My two friends and I left there satisfied with the view and puzzled by the straightforwardness shown by the Syrian girls, some of them covered in black, and the rest with their hair covered. We hadn’t expected that and we didn’t really see it again in Syria. In this country, men and women live pretty separate lives. I could tell so much more about how different groups of friendly Syrians invited us for a chat, food, dance, water pipe and relaxation, but although this were great experiences this post is already getting too long and even reading this far should qualify you for a treat.

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Hellou, and I’m back in Bergen again 🙂 Syria was really really nice and that’s one of the reasons that I didn’t spend more time blogging during the trip… Sorry about making you worried mom 😛 For now I will just say this, people in Syria are so nice and hospitable, it really surpassed my expectations in a positive way. And one thing about totallitarian states, they generally have very little crime and are often very safe to travel in. I have about 800 pictures to look through, edit or delete but I hope to be posting more of them soon!

Cheers
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We’re back in Damascus after some really nice days up north in Aleppo. If I had faster internet I would show some pictures, but I’ll save them and more stories for later. We have seen old ruins and huge markets, been invited to peoples villages and homes and had lots of adventures and great food. Syrians are so peaceful and their hospitality and friendliness is a lot greater than I expected. Tonight our group will be completed as our friend Hassan will join us for one week!

Here we are! We just came into town, 5 hours by bus from Damascus. We’re staying at Springflower hostel, which seems nice so far. My first impression of the Syrians is that they are very friendly anot not afraid of making contact just to say hello and welcome. That will be all for now, cheers!

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