Dec Holiday - Day Eight

Wed, 22nd Dec 2010

Good morning! T's inner outfit for the day w double socks too!

Some of the besties would recognise the hoodie. kikiki

Told T that today's my birthday and he had to be a good boy for Mummy. Er... I don't think he caught that. Still tantrums at the toilet. Chet!

All this while I turned on FLIGHT mode on my iphone. But this morning, I turned it back on and received a couple of birthday wishes via sms. THANK YOU!!

The Boss thought that driving 2.5hours all the way to the province / city of HOMS for just one attraction is such a waste and asked the guide if he had any suggestions and he recommended us to go to the Castle!

We reached the mosque of Khalid Ibnul Walid - the guy with the brain for war tactics the KhandaQ (trench) - as well as Abdurrahman ibnu Umar ibnul Khattab.

The latter's tomb was actually quite open, no wall and goldish trappings around him.

A onesie on top of the inner outfit above.

Initially I thought of it as pyjama but later I thought no choice HAVE TO wear this even for daywear! All the other outer wear he's already worn like... 3 times each!
T LOVESSSS running trying to catch the pigeon.

Just before entering the mosque

At 11.30am, we were just in time for Zohr! Isnt that REAL EARLY? *jakun* The female prayer area is super duper small but we managed.

Thanks to this picture of the sign, I remember the name of this place! haha
We reached the lunch location which is minutes away from the Castle!

The surrounding

There are certainly LOTS more to choose here!

SIDETRACK: I've only just discovered yesterday that the Moutabal i've been enjoying there is actually made of aubergine / eggplants!! and I dont normally vegetables!! I thought its just another version of Hummus which is made of chickpea just with added garlic or something. While I was googling for the name of that cheese puff snack, which is actually called BORAK / BOREK, I stumbled upon SYRIAN FOODIE blog complete with recipes! And when I clicked on Moutabal SURPRISE SURPRISE it's made of CHAR GRILLED EGGPLANTS only!! MY MY!

Ok end of side track.

Lunch was a merry affair with a gay (happy / hilarious) gay serving us. It was some kind of chicken rice but sad thing it was breast meat and not thigh meat that i only eat. But we sure packed all the fries leftover some other people's portions for T.

Luckily o runluckily, T made a deposit there. Toilet was crampy and I wet myself trying to wash him mid struggles. I also decided to put on another layer of jacket on him cos its super cold up there.

When we reached the castle, we were told that we had to pay extra SYP 150 about USD 3 for the tour of the castle that would last for 45min. I really wanted to go but didn't think T nor mum would appreciate the hundreds of steps going upwards. In the end, my parents sacrificed for me. I think this is some sort of a birthday present and I went in alone sans the kid and parents while they explored the exterior and took pictures from outside. I tried not to feel guilty about it.
The entrance - Large limestones.

The alley leading INSIDE the castle. Horses used to be ridden along here.

This used to be the base for the Crusades in whichever year

And this used to be a church complete with the Baptism well.

When the Muslim took over, they turned it into a mosque and built a mimbar.

The ceiling architecture of the "Conference Room" of the Knights.
The centre where two lines meet were supposed to resemble a cross. My angle doesn't capture that, I'm afraid.

We explored the dining area, the kitchen with a BIG ASS OVEN probably the size of my ROOM! no DOUBLE that; the sleeping quarters blah di blah di blah. It was too dark for iPhone. I expected myself to feel magically transformed back into medieval times like in the movies, alas, everything was so empty I just couldn't see it. I'm never good at pretend plays anyways.

UPWARDS, we reached the second floor and heading up another level to the Princess Room.

See the small squares with holes on the floor? Well that's the place where, in the event of a successful intrusion by the enemy, they would pour hot oil back down to the alley we were at just now before they could manage to get upstairs.

From the Princess Room looking back down to where I stood in the picture above.

Princess' window overlooking the city.

Note I only had 1 glove on. Stupid iPhone can't read when you touch with your glove.

Onwards and upwards to the Command Tower - Highest point of castle.

A short clip capturing 360deg view from the Command Tower

I rushed back down and found Tufeil happily playing with the iPod with Dad in the bus. Ok if he's not cranky then I don't feel guilty leaving him for 45min.

We travelled back to Damascus City for dinner where we paid extra USD10 to watch a Sufi dance.
Atmosphere's something like Boat Quay minus the river?

Christmas decoration with lotsa pubs/clubs.

It was probably 8pm by the time we reached Othman Bek Restaurant is the name. It was dark so I couldn't take picture. The dining area looked somewhat like the Beit Siti from yesterday only a tad smaller and the buffet spread is in a room.

Desserts which again, i touched none of.

It was quite impossible to get T to eat. Thank god there was button mushroom to tempt T with. But he won't take much carbo. Just a couple of mouthfuls of rice and noodle. I don't know why Mum kept saying he has a good appetite. Well actually I know, and its because she ate even lesser than T so it seemed to her that T ate a MOUNTAIN.

I hope my dad filmed the Sufi Dance cause while being the commercialised kind of performance and not the real Zikr trance, it was beautiful and colourful and the ending was touching. Tufeil even got into the spotlight for a bit when he spinned his detachable skirt on top of our heads. LOL. T was mesmerized i think cos he stood quite still (on his chair) for a second!

Reached back to hotel at 10pm. All in all a good day.

Tomorrow, we would be heading back to the airport. SOB SOB SOB... but I sort of couldn't wait to get home too. Too tired of moving around.

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