15th – 21st November (Fran’s travels in Syria and USA)

This week: Fran’s travels in Syria and USA, including Damascus, Apamea, Aleppo, Euphrates River and Mesopotamia and Chicago and Pittsburgh via Amtrak trains in the USA.

Mostly photos from now on and a bit of a tease. The stories will be in the book coming out in 2023.

15th November (2010)   Damascus, Syria

Today was spent on a tour of Damascus with my new tour group. I was to fall in love with the streets of Damascus and have strong memories of wandering through the narrow streets, the covered souq, whilst engulfed by history.

16th November (2010) Krak des Chevaliers,  Syria

Alas we left Damascus behind us and head north to Krak des Chevaliers – the best preserved Crusader castle in the Middle East.

17th November (2010)  Apamea, Syria

There are many Roman ruins around the world, but Apamea is a stunning example.

Me at Apamea’s colonnaded street

18th November (2010)   Aleppo, Syria

It is hard to think about Aleppo today. There are many photos of how Aleppo was razed during the war. It is unrecognisable to the Aleppo I had the privilege to experience before its destruction.

19th November (2010)  Euphrates River, Syria

Today we drove through the desert to the Euphrates River where we explored ruins of a pilgrimage town of Rasafa, followed by the Citadel at Halabiye.

20th November (1992) Amtrak Denver to Chicago

This date was spent on my first Amtrak train. Wendy had waved me off at the train station the night before on a 9:00 pm departure time on train number 36, named the Desert Wind.

This is where memory and reality do not match up. For years I have been telling this story as that I arrived in Chicago at ten o’clock at night. It was cold and dark and I was too scared to figure out how to get myself to a youth hostel by myself so late at night. So I went up to the booking desk and asked if there were any trains leaving that night that arrived somewhere in the morning hours which resulted in boarding a midnight train. 

Reality, based on timetables and tickets found in my scrapbook, is a bit different.

21st November (1992) Pittsburg, USA

We had an early, and safe, daylight arrival time of 7:45 am.

I have no photos from today but I bought a postcard

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