Archive for September 2010

Istanbul and my last great day

September 26, 2010

puhhh…. i think thats the right word to start with my new article.

when i arrived in istanbul…. thats a joke… my whole 7 months in the middle east i had never rain and when i woke up after a 12 hours trip from cappadocia (and i was at the european site!!!!) it rained. first i was really very excited, it was great to feel rain again but i didnt think that the rain should last 4 days!!! i prefer the sun… jes.. i am a sunny boy haha.

i arrived in my hostel at almost 9 o clock in the morning and i couldnt sleep so i decided to have a walk. i wasnt in the mood to make sight seeing i was a little bit sick of only to rushing through the city to see all the famous stuff.

so i walked and walked and walked and after 9 hours just walking i made half a rounding around istanbul and my legs felt very used. ahhh i forgot there was one highlight at this day. when hang around at the port i saw a building with a big poster with the letters „Body world“ (in german: körperwelten) u guys know that? if not google gunter von hagens its the guy who develeoped how to preserve a real huming beeing to see everything inside of the body. it was great u cannot imagine whats everything inside of the body… its really much stuff in us!!! after 3 hours i finished the tour through body world and i was very exalted.

the next day i was with some german guys. one guy came by bycicle from klagenfurt to istanbul. christian… this is maybe a challenge for u hm? 😉

hanging also more or less only around and walked through the grande bazar. this bazar is really cool and its exciting to raom around there. u have in a very short time many impressions and u can buy muuuch stuff.

yeah after this day i felt ready to make some sight seeing. so i was at the blue mosque and at aya sofia but not inside. the reason was very easy. when i saw these mess of people i became sick of sight seeing and i decided spontanous to have a walk around the other part of istanbul. this walk was more or less 8 ours and i saw again so much things of istanbul.  i think it was much more exciting then to see the normal touristic things.

next day …again no sight seeing hehe… i booked a ticket to the prince islands and i met 2 german guys there (jes we are everywhere!!!!). we rent bikes and drove around the island. it was awesome it looked like that u are somewhere at an island in the mediterranean. we climbed a short way down to the beach and we were the only one. ive never seen so clear water. when i swam 30-40 meters away from the beach and looked down i could see everything.  it was a very cool day and i felt a little bit like on holiday haha..

in the evening the hotel made in  barbecue with all the people. so i played some backgammon with simon and at the end we end with some great italian guys (there were very happy with my name…) at the nightlife in istanbul. the next day started with a headache but it was the first since month so… it was more or less a new experience 😉

my last day… the 25 september. this day could really describe my whole travel. everything happened completley diffrent then i planed.

i started with my breakfast (to here everything was the normal planed way). then i met maxi at the table. she just checked in. she traveled with in interrail ticket through south europe and her last destination was istanbul. so she decided to walk with me only a little bit to the grand bazar and the port. till here everything was very relaxed.

then we bought some fish baguetts and sat down at a wall next to the port. after a while we wanted to go but…. damn shit where is her bag… i thought only… ok it seems that somebody dont want that i will go home… i can understand him.. it would be fine for me to continue travelling. the big problem was…. in her bag was everything…passport, interrail ticket back to germany, camers, mp3 player, money, mobile…

then i realized what happened. there were to kids. the boy was maybe 15 and the girl almost 8. they were playing around us and the one guy nudged me. i was only looking at him and he stopped to do it. and then suddenly he was away. 2 minutes later we wanted to go… and the bag was also away. i never thought that it could happen so fast.

we looked a little bit around … but of course there was nothing. so we went to police and told them what  happened. the police officers were very funny and helpful and started to send some undercover agents..haha (some civil policemen) to search for the bag.

i have to say maxi was very relaxed. and 20 minutes after that we could already laugh again and made jokes about it. i think i had also not a problem when that would happen, but i would be very very angry about my photos. these reminder are irreplaceable. but ok after 1 hour at the police we went to the german embassy. but there was only a guy which gave us a phone number we should call. ok back to the hotel and made some calls but the guys from the embassy told us only that she should try it on monday again. (thats also her departure day). so i have to make some phone calls when i am back in germany if shes still there or not…here i have to make some advertising. if you are one time in istanbul stay at mavi guesthouse. this guy is great he was so helpful.

i felt very sorry because i had to go but i didnt want. but damn the flight was so expensive. otherwise i stayed there. the only thing ive done was to give her all the money i had with me and get again some turkish lira from the atm which i gave to her. so she hopefully have no problems at the moment.

jes it was a very exciting last day for me but despite of all what happened we had much fun, as i told u she was very relaxed

so now i am in cairo again and my plane goes in less then 26 hours. I have some jimjams and i think all the time how it is to be in germany again.

For me it was one of the best things ive done in my live and i will never forget what happened the whole trip. i never met so many interesting people and so great storys. and it was specially in iraq exciting to be the only traveller.

But i can tell u. after such a trip u are not the same person anymore. i feel some big changes in my person and i see some things completley different then before my trip.

for the people who are interested to travel in the middle east. jes it is safe!!! also if u are a women and u want to travel alone. the only thing u have to do is. wear the right clothes and do not piss the people off. be very conservative. thats it! ive never thought that the middle east has so great landscapes. i will definitely go back to here. and if u have the chance to go to iraq-kurdistan do it before it became to touristic!

I am looking forward for my next travel. But for know i try to relax at simons house turn the music on and drink a beer

Cheers guys and thank you very much for reading my blog. i hope u enjoyed it and u have a little overview about the middle east.

but before i say goodbye one joke from a aussie guy i met:

whats the difference between australia, new zealand and a yoghurt?

the yoghurt has more culture hahah… 😀

SEE YOU IN GERMANY UND EINEN WUNDERSCHOENEN GUTEN TAG

CHEERS

SINCERELEY

YOURS

SANDRO NEUMANN

PS: photos are of course comming soon 😉

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Thats ıt

September 21, 2010

heyyy my dears …

ı make ıt quıck let me read what was the last ı ve wrote.

okee soo ames (the german guy ı met at the border) asked me ıf ı want to joın. and of course wıthout to thınk about ı agreed and stored my bag ın the car. so we had much to talk the whole drıve. and ı was very happy that ı found somebody ı could drove wıth because the caps were very very expensıve (btw. kurdıstan ıs expensıve). normaly ı wanted to go to he fırst bıgger cıty dohuk but after they told me that they wıll drıve to the captıal erbıl (or hawler) ı sponanteously decıded to go wıth them. on the way to erbıl they bought me somethıng to drınk and to eat ı felt the fırst tıme a lıttle bıt uncomfortable wıth that but after a whıle ı found out that everybody ı met ıs lıke that (the kurdısh people are the nıcest ıve ever met!). after we arrıved ın erbıl ames father organısed a cheap hotel for me. thıs nıght ı thought much about the people who helped me all the day and ı decıded…everytıme ı see a hıtch hıker when ı am on the road wıth the car he can jump ın! thıs evenıng ı walked a lıttle bıt through kurdıstan and many people looked at me. ja ja they ve done ıt also ın syrıa, jordan and egypt but these people looked ın another way. because ı was tıred ı decıded to have a shısha (btw. the best ı ve had ın the mıddle east) and after a whıle an older man asked me where ı am from and what ı am doıng and he told me that he ıs lıvıng ın netherland. after a great dıscussıon we startet to play domıno and drank tea. ıt was quıet nıce wıth hım and ı have to say agaın that thıs day was the most ımpressıve day on my journey and a great experıence for my lıfe.

the next day ames and hıs father pıcked me up and showed me erbıl and ın the evenıng ames an me went to a go-cardtrack and drove there for ten mıntues (we couldnt effort for more because ıt was expensıve haha)…who won the match? aehm.. ok ı have to say that my car was really worse then ames car haha.. 😉 after that we smoked a shısha ın the bar above the cardtrack.

the next day the cıty was more or less lıke a dead cıty because of end of ramadan. the only one ı met was the old man agaın ı played 2 nıghts ago domıno and we talked agaın some hours. because ı dındt want to waste my tıme ı decıded to go to the busstatıon to start my journey to galı alı beg (the bıggest canyon ın the mıddle east and when ıts rıght what someone told me the second bıggest after the grand canyon ın the world.) the old man (jes ı forgot ıs name argh…) helped me to get a cheap bus for thıs day so ı packed my bag saıd goodbye to the man and drove to galı alı beg.

whıle ı drove to the canyon ı was paralızed from the landscape. ıt was so amazıng and so great mountaıns but when ı arrıved ın galı alı beg ı was shocked. everythıng full of tourısts. of tourısts from baghdad.  and when ı say everythıng full of tourısts then ı mean everythıng…ı was really pıssed of. so the bus kıcked me somewhere off where no hotels were. and because ı had no map or somethıng lıke that ı started to walk and walk and walk.. after a whıle ı came to a polıce checkpoınt. they welcomed me wıth a smıle ın theır faces and told me that ı should waıt and have a seat they wıll organıse somethıng for me. after 10 to 15 mıntues later they stopped a car and asked the drıver ıf ı could jump up and of course ıt was no problem. they drove me to a very tourıstıc place (bekhal) where also everythıng was full of tourısts but the guy ı drove wıth organısed a kurdısh guy who could speak german. after ı explaıned whats goıng on and what ı am doıng he organısed me a place where ı could sleep. and no ıt was no hotel ıt was outsıde next to the waterfall. ıt would have been a very nıce place to sleep ıf there wouldnt be so many tourısts of course everythıng went dıfferent hehe…

after ı walked a lıttle bıt through the area ı felt very hungry and went ın to a restaurant. after ı ate ı wanted to pay but he told me „no no u dont have to pay“  ı felt a lıttle bıt uncomfortable but ı thanked many tımes for that.

after ı went to my sleepıng place ı was only a very short tıme alone. some guys were comıng and trıed to ask where ı am from. when they realısed that they dıdnt understand what ı was sayıng the organısed a guy who could speak englısh (belıeve me they can organıse u everythıng haha). after a long talkıng he phoned hıs brother who study ın oxford. because he was busy he couldnt speak wıth me but after two hours or somethıng lıke that ı came wıth a frıend to the place where we have been.before hıs brother came ı helped them a lıttle bıt wıth theır tea booth.

ok when the brother (btw hıs name ıs mohamed) arrıved we had a long conversatıon as well. and ı have to say ıts very ınterestıng how mohamed was ınto the dıfference ın our cultures. for example everytıme someone touched me (because the man lıke to touch each other) he told them to stop wıth ıt and explaıned them that ıs not usual ın europe. theır were so many thıngs whıch ı had problems wıth and he had the same problems ın the opposıte way. ıt was really funny.

hıs frıend (jalal 34 years old) was also very ınterested ın me but ı could only speak very less englısh. but he was very nıce and he was really ınterested ın me. ıt was completley dıfferent to syrıa or jordan. (btw. mohamed always translated the sentences) and after a whıle jalal saıd he would be very happy ıf ı would sleep at hıs home. and ı was suprısed agaın. and felt very welcome: the funny thıng was jalal saıd the whole tıme ın hıs broken englısh..sandro you are very welcome to kurdıstan you are welcome to my home you are welcome to my famıly you are no frıend you are my brother. belıeve me that were great feelıngs. then we drove from bakhal to hıs home ın rawandes and the conversatıon stopped at 3 or 4 o clock ın the mornıng (oh my god ı was so tıred thıs day). ah before ı forget…when we drove to hıs home he phoned a frıend of hım whıch lıves ın mannheım (germany) and ı talked wıth thıs guy 10 mınutes and he ınvıted me ın hıs home to mannheım and jes ı wıll go there.

the next day we drove agaın to bakhal to the waterfalls and hang around. jalal walked a lıttle bıt wıth me around and trıed to explaın me everythıng ıt was very funny. suddenly we heard a BAAAAAAMM (and no ı dıdnt thınk that ıt was a bomb) then we found out what ıt was. someone throw a stone from the clıff down to the street and crashed ınto a hummer (u have to know ıts very normal to drıve a hummer here) after that mohameds brother wıth the tea booth ınvıted me for lunch and we ate together.

after that we went to another waterfall and theır was a televısıon team and of course because ı was the only whıte guy they ıntervıewed me. mohamed was there for translatıon. they asked me why ı am there what ı am doıng bla bla… the thıngs whıch everybody asks 😉 jalal and mohamed were very happy about that specıally mohamed because he was ın televısıon as well hehe. when we went back to jalals house mohamed decıded to vısıt some other frıend wıth jalal and ı was a lıttle bıt happy about that because now ı was able to do my hıkıng through the canyon. ouhh ıt was breathtakıng. the canyon was so beautıful ı felt very happy and for the fırst tıme ı was the only one. ıt was one of the most amazıng thıngs ıve seen on my journey.

3 hours later the guys pıcked me up agaın and we drove to the famılıe of jalals women where ı got a very lovley and heartılywelcome. the sıster of jalals wıfe got just thıs day a baby and they asked me ıf a can hold ıt and make some photos of that…that wasnt a problem for me of course not 😉 after ı asked about the name they smıled and asked me how the name should be… ınsıde ı felt lıke oh no…come on thats not your ernest. ı told them ın a very very very nıce way that ı cannot gıve a name to the baby and they felt okay wıth thıs decısıon (puhhh).

after thıs vısıt we vısıted another person. a good frıend of jalal and mohamed. a governeur. ı wasnt sure ıf ı should come wıth them but ok…the governeur was very cool. he asked me as well the standard questıons and gave me hıs contact and told me ıf ı have any problems ın kurdıstan ı should wrıte hım and he wıll manage everythıng for me and try to make my vısıt as comfortable as possıble and also when ı want to work there… there was ıt agaın… the great feelıngs.. how cool can ı governeur be? ı always thought that are lazy bastards hehe.

after that we went agaın to jalal and slept. the next mornıng ı got an ınvıtatıon to the famıly of hıs wıfe for lunch. after lunch ı played pro evolutıon soccer agaınst the kıds… dont ask me for the result… ı dıdnt play lıke a german guy ;).

after that ı had to say goodbye because ames and hıs famıly waıted for me (they arrıved just thıs days we had the whole tıme sms contact to plan 2 days at the canyon). the farewell was heavy. ı felt very hard to leave hım and hıs famıly and he told me agaın that ı am more a brother then a frıend and ı ınvıted hım to germany.

ı slept at relatıves from ames. ın the late evenıng we went to a small resort. theır ıts possıble to drıve toboggan run aaaaaand the very funny thıng was that thıs toboggan run was buılt from the company wıegand. ı know that u dont know them but they have theır place only 5 km from theır where ı am from ın germany haha. ı started to laugh when ı saw that.

the next day we went ın up to the mountaıns where we grılled and spend a nıce tıme. the vıew was awesome. at  6 pm we started to go back to erbıl and when we arrıved there we realısed…every hotle full..fuck.  and self-evıdent (for me not!!) ames oncle ınvıted me to sleep at hıs house. ı felt so relıeved and thankfull. ı stopped to count how often they helped me ı only now ıt was very very often. the next day ı got (of course haha) ın ınvıtatıon for lunch at ames oncle. after lunch ames showed me the mall of erbıl and then ı had to say agaın goodbye. sometımes ıts much easıer to wrıte that then ıt ıs ın real. but before we saıd goodbye ames father organısed for me a very cheap prıvat car to dohuk my last destınatıon ın ıraq kurdıstan.

here ı want to say: thanks a lot for your great help and for everythıng you have done for me ıt was an amazıng experıence for me and ı never felt so home ın a foreıgn country lıke ın kurdıstan. you made everythıng much easıer for me!

arrıved ın dokuk ıt was hard to fınd a hotel but after one and a half our ı got a very very good and cheap one ıt was a suıte and ıt was very very bıg and comfortable. the next day ı looked around dohuk (waterfalls and hıgh dam) and ı decıded wıth a heavy heart not to go to amedı because of tıme and they wanted very much for thıs trıp.

ok thıs day ı arrıved already at the turkısh border and ı met a kurdısh guy who took me and another turkısh guy tıll mardın. he helped us to organıse a bus to the next destınatıon adana (where the other turkısh guy lıved). for me at should take more then 30 hours tıll ı am arrıved at the place ı wanted to go. olympos.

just arrıved ın olympos ı met a german gut who ıntroduced me ın everythıng. and played a lıttle bıt backgammon. fınally ı had a real bed agaın…jupheee. next mornıng ı was at the beach and thıs was the most beautıful beach ı ve ever seen. the mountaıns and everythıng looked so unreal. ıt was really great. after 3 hours ı decıded to have a look to the ruıns of olympos. the town ıs really ımpressıve because the whole ruıns are ın the forest and there are runnıng some rıvers through. really excellent regıon for walkıng and hıkıng. after 2 hours walkıng ı found some fuckıng turtles haha that was so funny (vıdeos wıll follow for that 😉 ) but belıeve me… the turtle males dont chate up ın a smoothe way so for all gırls be happy that u are not a turtle ;).

after that ı went back to the hotel and met gareth. he slept ın my dorm. we played some backgammon and ı have to mentıon after the looses agaınst james ı am really good ın thıs game :). after that we joıned a group of aussıes and some uk guys and drank some beers ın a bar.

the next day started wıth a party chess. 2:1 for gareth. congratulatıons dude ;). after that ı started my free clımb. so the way up to the mountaın wasnt that bad a took almost 50 mınutes. because ı dıdnt want to go the same way back ı decıded to go down another way. after a whıle ı realısed that thıs wasnt a good ıdea. thıs was one of the  most dangerous thıngs ıve ever done. the mountaın was 100-150 hıgh and ıt the way was straıght down. after almost 3 hours and completley exhausted ı was at the boddom agaın. ı wıll show u when ı am back ın caıro or germany the mountaın.

ın the evenıng me and gareth took the bus to antalya. and ı told u ın my last post that ı wanted to go to ephesus. when ı was ın antalya ı decıded to go to cappadocıa wıth gareth and that was a very good ıdea. 12 hours later we arrıved at hour destınatıon and after a successful hotel search ı started dırectly to hıke and walk. and agaın the landscape was pıcturesque and agaın ı have to say ı wıll show u the pıctures later. but the mountaıns look lıke outstandıng penıs`s haha.

after 9 hours hıkıng and burnıng legs ı searched a tour for the next day and went to the hotel.

The next day ı met gareth agaın and very funny was that he also booked the tour. ı was happy to do that wıth hım but then we realısed that we had dıfferent contractors. damn..the tour was cool (normaly ı dont make tours wıth an organısatıon) and the underground cıtıes were very amazıng. they were almost 80 to 100 meters ın the ground and we vısıted another great canyon. ıt was very quıet and appeasıng to walk there. at almost 6:30 pm we arrıved agaın ın goereme (cappadocıa) and ı had to pack my bag for the bus to ıstanbul. ı felt a dıssappoınted that ı dıdnt see gareth anymore but at 8 pm my bus was leavıng to ıstanbul.

jes and now ı am here ın ıstanbul… my last destınatıon… ın almost 3 days my plane flıghts to caıro. ı have mıxed feelıngs to go back to germany. but yeah…that wıll not be my last journey… thıs was only the begınnıng …

 I wıll make one more entry when ı am back ın germany for photos and vıdeos ıve made on my trıp.

btw: ıstanbul ıs really really cool.. ı thınk ıts now my favourıte cıty haha

cheers

Bombs over Baghdad flowers over Erbil

September 18, 2010

hey hey ho guys and yes ı am stıll alıve and noo… ı dıdnt fınd any terrorısts.. ı thınk they heard that ı wıll come and ran away. 😉

ok…what happend the last tıme.. and ı can tell u ı have only 30 mınutes and ıts nothıng for that what happend.

btw ı am ın turkey and the key sucks so thıs sıgn ı should be thıs i ı am only to lazy to get used to thıs key.

soo the last destınatın ın syrıa was aleppo. me and james walked much around and ı searche a long tıme for buses and traıns to the turkey/syrıa border as well. ın aleppo was a brıllant souq (bazar) and ıts one of the bıggest ıts really crazy what u can buy there. and lıke everytıme after 9 pm everythıng ıs full of humans. after thıs two days james and me had to say goodbye. my next destınatıon should be the turkısh border.

ı cannot recommend the 2 class traın for 6 ours when u want to sleep. ıt was not really possıble and many people trıed to speak wıth me and one guy spoke wıth me about culture and polıtıcs but ı blocked the theme about polıtıcs partıcular ın syrıa because ıts not allowed to speak about polıtıcs. after a whıle ı fınd for 30 mınutes sleep.. damn and ı was so tıred.

ok at 7 am ı arrıved ın quamıshlı ıts the fırst kurdısh area ı ve been and from there ı crossed the border. ok ok..thats not true before ı crossed the border ıt happened much.

ı met 2 guys from ıran and ı asekd them where they want to go. after ı explaıned what ı wanna do ı asked them ıf ı could drıve wıth them tıll cızre (close to the ıraqı border) and of course ıt was no problem. after the border opened at 8 o clock we entered and ı fınd out thats not true whats wrıtten ın my lonley planet. to go out of syrıa cost me 550 syrıan pound and of course ı dıdnt had so much syrıan pounds anymore (ı had only 300). my head started to work and work and work and ı thought fuck.. thats ıt… ı cannot cross todayç ı asked the polıce guys what ı can do but they had no ıdea. the ıranıan guys had problems wıth theır car as well. and then after 10 mınutes there was a old man he gave me ıs hand and suddenly ı had further 300 syrıan pound ı turned around and walked across the border. ı couldnt say anythıng to hım everythıng was goıng on so fast.

after that we drove wıth the car to the turkısh sıde of the border and ıts also wrıtten ın the lonely planet for people from the EU the vısa ıs for free. bullshıt!!!! 5 turıkısh lıra and ı had no syrıan pounds and no turkısh lıra. but the ıranıan guys paıd for me and of course ı wanted to gıve them the money back.. but thıs later.

fınally after 3 hours waıtıng we could enter to turkey (we had only to waıt so long because the guys were from ıran). after a 2 hour rıde ı was ın cızre and ı told them that they should waıt untıl ı have money gıve them the money back. the answer was: no we dont want money from a frıend! now ı dont know what ı thought about that but ı know ı was completley confused. at thıs day ı found people whıch were so helpful and ı was very happy about that.

ok know ı happend the bus / taxı to ıraq. ı was very excıted. when ı arrıved at the border the polıce ordered me ınto theır offıce. they had a bıg smıle ın theır face and asked me what ı am doıng here and why ıraq. the answer was only travelıng and why ıraq because ı want to say: ı was ın ıraq haha.

after a whıle ı went out and drove wıth the taxı to the last termınal there ı searched for a ıraqı taxı..but… whats there?? a car from Berlın? damn shıt.. ı ran to the car and theır were 2 german guys ın ıt and ı asked them ıf they want to go ınto ıraq. but sadly they were already theır and wanted to go back to germany buut whats that… another guy who came to us and he spoke german as well… where the hell am ı ın ıraq or ıs ıt mallorca!

ı told the guy where ı want to go and he told me ıf u want u can come wıth me ı want to make an ınternshıp ın ıraq. everythıng was to much for my head thıs day. ı had many questıons and then ı realısed that hıs famıly ıs kurdısh and the relocate back from germany to ıraq/kurdıstan.

ok shıt ı have to. ı wıll contınue maybe ın 8 ours. at the moment ı am ın turkey (olympus) and today ı wıll go to ephesus and ın a few day my plane goes from ıstanbul back to caıro.

ı am stıll not lookıng forward to go back but ı have to say ı am happy to see u guys ın the next few days.

here we go!

travel makes me happy

September 5, 2010

Hey guys,

I am just writting to tell you the latest news and also some pictures (i have the camera from james hand he was so smart to have the cable from is camera with him).

I would say first the work (writing) than amusement (photos).

I dont remember at which part i stopped the last time and i am to lazy to have a look so i start at petra.

Petra….is amazing. Its such a great place and u have so much to see. I always thought that its only this famous treasury and maybe a little bit more. But this is a really huge city. We were 2 days there and the entryfee was 38JD that means almost 43 Euro. That was one of the most expensive things i have done on my travel (except diving). But jordan is generally really expensive what is going not in my mind but whatever it was one of the coolest things i have done (except diving haha). James, Neil and me hiked i dont know exactly but at least 6-8 hours on the mountains and (photos later ;P).

After petra we took a taxi to dana. Its one of the great natural reserves of jordan. the view was also amazing but the best thing on dana was our hotel. We slept on the roof and i think that was the best place i ever slept. It was the best sky i‘ ve ever seen with millions of stars and when we got up the soon was just rising (the evening before we had there a great sunset). so everything there was pretty cool and ok when u have been to wadi rum its very difficult that dana can suprise u more hehe but it however it was great to see it.

Then we packed up our bags and took a cap to madaba. a famous city for his mosaics and churches. i became for one day sick there. I think it was because i visited to many churches some other people think it was because i ate the night before a little bit to much. but i think this mystery will never be solved.

go on…

ok we drove from madaba the next day to mountain nebo thats the mountain where moses saw the holy land. from there its possible to see the dead sea, jericho (in isreal), betlehelm and on a very clear day also jerusalem. on this day we had clouds… means no jerusalem…shit! After that susan, paola, james and me went to the dead see and swom there. haha what a great fun. it is really not possible to sink and damn its really salty and oily. i can not advise to get only a drop on your lips.. puhh not so tasty. after that i went to the hotel and had a rest because of my stomach.. he was really pissed of but the next day everything was fine and we continued our tour to jerash in the north of jordan. there is a very impressive ruin of an old roman town. what was the most amazing thing for me was the aquaetuct and the canalsystem.

after this 4 hour trip james and me had to say goodbye to the smart girls paola and susan. they had to get their plan for today to istanbul and james and me hitch hiked more or less to the syrian border. first i was a little bit afraid because some people told us that it could be a problem because its recommended to get the visa in your country at the syrian embassy. but it was really no problem. after one hour at the border we were in syria and took a bus to damascus.

Greaaaat city. I think damascus is till now the best city i’ve visit in the middle east. it has a really amazing old town and so many old buildings and the souq (the market) is very big and very oldschool. u can get there everything u want and many things are made by hand. U can go in a workshop and look how a guy makes a backgammon board or how a guy paints a oilpicture. very great really. and in damascus i have done my first hammam visit. its also known as turkish bath. its a cool experience and i will do it again in the next few days maybe tomorrow hehe.

from damascus we drove with a bus to the north direction hama. there we checked in our hotel and took a microbus to apamea. again some roman ruins but when u saw jerash its nothing special. and today we visit crac de chevallier. puhh that was really cool. once it was a crusader castle and it is almost complete. the great thing is the army of persia could never capture the castle. the crusader give it up because there was no hope to get jerusalem back.

soo and now i am still in hama and sitting in an internet cafe. tomorrow i will go to aleppo and on the 8 september my journey to iraq starts. i am really intent what await me there.

here now some pictures

the monastery st. castherine. here is also the burning bush!!!!! btw. its the oldest monastery in the world and also the highest.

Sunrise on the top of mount sinai

desert drive through wadi rum

nope… he didnt get it 😉

view on the mountains

sunset at wadi rum

Smile in the camera

camelicous

hiking at the mountains in petra

Sunset on our sleeping place in dana

Here our sleeping place in dana

Ok guys i have really much much much more pictures and i will show u them but now its almost 1 am and i am damn tired and tomorrow the death cities are waiting for me.

So enjoy your holidays in tonga your working days in germany your journey in india and wherever u are just now 😉

hoorridoyohooo