. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: March 17, 1998

Tuesday, March 17, 1998
Hama, Syria
Syria's Flag

Hama, Syria:
Latitude: 35° 8' 1" North
Longitude: 36° 45' 26" East
Altitude: 1561 feet
From Seattle: 8240 miles
Lodging: Hotel - Riad Hotel

Today's Travel:
Country: Syria
Region: Orontes Valley
Start: Hama, Syria
Stop 1. Apamea
End:Hama, Syria
Linear:80 miles
Weather: Rain

Available Photos:

Amphitheater Apamea, Syria

Columns Apamea, Syria

Village built on top of ancient fortress Apamea, Syria

Long row of columns Apamea, Syria

Long row of columns Apamea, Syria

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 341
Linear Dist: 96352
Countries Visited: 28
Regions Visited: 109
More stats...
Hotels: 60
Friends / Family: 98
Camping: 38
Hostels: 113
Transit: 32
Beers: 1423

Journal Entry:
There were two main groups of ruins (both characterized by a line of columns). The larger side you had to pay to get into. We naturally chose to look at the free side first. There was a long row of two columns, and an the extensive ruins of some large buildings (mostly just floor stones and foundations left.) There was one wall with arched openings. On what would have been the inside face of some of the walls there were the remains of frescos. They weren't preserved well enough to tell the subject, only vague shapes.

The pay side of the road had a much larger set of columns. Laura forgot her student ID and was unwilling to pay the 200 Syrian Pound (~US$4) entry (with student ID it was 15, ~US$.30), and Rachel decided to give it a miss as well. So I had the whole ruins complex to myself. The columns were impressive, especially when I realized they ran over the hill. I walked to the end, it had stoped raining, the surounding fields were a stunning green, and I had it all to myself. On the way back I counted my paces and I figured these rows of columns was about one and a half kilometers. Near the begining of the columns I realized that the ruins on the other side of the road (the free ones) were a continuation of the columns. Total the two rows of columns must have stretched two kilometers and they were still excavating on either end. I'd guess there were close to a thousand columns standing. It's probably the largest ruins I've ever seen (at least of the Mediteranean variety) - much larger than the Acropolis.

Came back to Hama, collected Jeanne and we set off to see the four Noirans (waterwheels) that Hama is famous for (not that impressive). On my way back I decided that if my stomach was going to hurt anyway I should eat. I opted for pizza (it sounded good), while the girls went elswhere for chicken . Despite the high price on my dinner (almost US$3) it was horible.

Today I noticed that Camel, Marlboro, and Luck Strike cigarettes are available everywhere, but no Coke, Pepsi, or Mc Donalds (maybe in Damascus).

Related Sites:
ArabNet: Syria, Tour Guide, Hama
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Syria
CIA World Fact Book: Syria

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