Syria is a west Asian country bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the North, Iraq to the east, Jordan and Israel to the south and southwest respectively. Syria's largest city is Damascus; which also serves as the capital. The Country has diverse scenery including farming plains, high mountains, deserts, historical building, and rivers. This factor makes it an ideal location to visit, but currently, Syria is politically unstable with fighting among different controlling groups. Detailed below is a ten days trip plan suited for an American citizen to Syria that incorporates cultural, economic and political aspects of the nation.
Day 1-2 On arriving in Syria, the first day will be spent at the chosen hotel. A security briefing will be given concerning the region. One will also be required to participate in security drills to enable one to have a safe trip. Due to the political instability, it is very critical to adhere to all the instructions given.
The best way to experience Syria on the first day is by visiting the capital, Damascus. Spend a day or two exploring the rich architecture of the old town on foot with a guide. Damascus is also the center of the cultural aspect of Syria, therefore, step into a restaurant and enjoy the local cuisine of grilled meat kebabs, and mujaddara: rice, lentil and onion dish. This experience gives one a refreshing start to recover from the jet lag.
Visit Palmyra and the Syrian Desert. Palmyra is a monumental ruin of a great ancient city located North-east of Damascus. It ranks as a UNESCO world heritage site. Admire the remains of the ruins, which were destroyed partially during the ongoing conflict. Also, spend a night camping in the desert sand with a view of the night sky. Then on the next day, explore the desert on camels or four-wheel-bikes.
Take a long drive through the adjacent cities to the final destination of Aleppo. On the way, one will make stops at various towns including Tartus; a seaside resort town, which is famous for its beach hotels, and cool waters. Spend a few days on this island to experience the most exquisite cuisine and visit the traditional Syrian villages to meet the locals who are welcoming and friendly.
On the sixth day, you should be in the city of Aleppo. This old city is currently under construction due to distraction during the recent war, but it is recovering slowly. Spend a day helping the people of the town as they rebuild their lives, and you will be able to listen and console them. The simple gesture lifts one's spirit and in a way, that of the Syrian people as well. Aleppo is also home to several UNESCO heritage sites, which will need a whole day to appreciate. Spend the night here at the world-class hotels that are well known for their hospitality.
Head back to Damascus for shopping of souvenirs at the famous Hamadiyeh Souk. This place is among Syria's most bustling commercial areas. One will, therefore, be able to buy something to remember the trip.
On the final day, it is recommended to stay at the hotel, clear all bills, ensure that all travel documents are in order, and wait for the flight back.
Remember to follow the rules of the country and refrain from illegal drinking of alcohol during the Holy months of their religions. The United States discourage its citizens from traveling to Syria at the moment. Therefore, one should make sure that they have enough information before visiting, and a way to contact the authorities upon arrival.
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