Home Tylos to Thassos 2010 Tour ends, but memories will live on
Tour ends, but memories will live on
Written by Ali Mushaima   
Saturday, 31 July 2010 11:07

With outside temperatures well over 40C, a water truck cools the road to prevent the asphalt from melting 

On Thursday morning Khadija, who works in the hotel Rosa Damascina, made us breakfast and hotel owner Ahmad Sadat, who was also our guide during our last visit to Syria en route to Greece, came and had a coffee with us and wished us all the best for the long drive back.

It is very hard to leave Syria. Every time we visit this country, especially the capital, I am reminded of the quote by Ibn Jubair: "If there was a heaven on earth, it would definitely be Damascus." It is considered one of the oldest constantly inhabited cities in the world. 

Syria is also described as the most outstanding country in the world because it underlies the history of humankind in time and place. A journey through Syria becomes a journey of discovery filled with constant wonder due to the various arts, culture, civilizations and sense of beauty, and especially due to the overwhelming generosity of Syrian hospitality.

We said goodbye to Ahmad and started our drive to the border. When we reached there, it was crowded with a lot of people going back since Ramadan, the holy month will start soon. To have two cars with only two people  it is not easy to fill out the paperwork and move the cars and finish the formalities quickly. Once we were done, we drove to the Jordanian border and again, it was crowded and we had to go through more formalities. We always wish it was easier with less paperwork, like in Europe where you drive and most of the time you only notice you are in another country when you see the signs are different.

Saleh Farajat accepts a copy of 101 Things to See and Do in Bahrain from Ali 

When we entered Jordan, we called our friend Saleh Farajat, who works for Marriott Hotels and drove to the hotel to meet him. He congratulated us on our expedition and we had a good lunch with him and discussed a special trip from Bahrain to Jordan. The Marriott hotels in Jordan will host us during our stay. 

Saleh also offered to be our guide, which was very kind and it will be nice to see Jordan through the eyes of a local. He is a very knowledgeable person as we know after working with him on a project once in Yemen.

Saleh also offered us a stay in the hotel for the night, but with a long drive to Bahrain ahead, we had to get going. It is so nice to see how hotels and individuals here have such a strong interest in promoting their country; it is a good example which others should learn from.

With 150 km from Amman to the border with Saudi Arabia and another 1,550 km from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain ahead, the last part of our trip had begun. The drive to the border went well, thanks to our Garmin GPS which showed us the roads all the way to Greece and back.

The display reveals the temperature outside is a hot 45C in Saudi Arabia 

Getting across the border in Saudi Arabia was easy and quick. It started to get dark and after we drove 500 km we checked in at Esteraha –a kind of motel that you find next to fuel stations.

On Friday morning we started the long journey and we reached home at 8pm, but where is home ?

Archaeologist Andre Parrot once said, "Every man has two homelands: His own and Syria." It is true, for me personally and many others who I know.