Hamah is peaceful and the Noria's are beautiful
The recent sad history
Stop Here On The Way From Aleppo To Damascus...
These Pictures which paint thousands of words. If you happen to visit Syria, it is a must to have a break to visit even just drink a cup of coffee or taste a Syrian Cuisine in a Restaurant on the Riverside where you can also enjoy the pictorial beauty of the Landscape with all inclusive the the nature of Orontes River, the greeneries of the Valley...more
Built on top of an extinct volcano, destroyed by an earthquake, rebuilt by an Ayyubid governor of Homs in 1229, the castle is still looking proud on top of the hill overlooking the surrounding desert oasis.This is the first stop of our Palmyra tour, about 30kms away from Hama, the location is a bit away from the highway though it can be seen from...more
The second stop of our Palmyra tour is the traditional behhouses made of mud in the small village of Sarouj. There are I think about 5 cone shaped houses connected to each other in one line.We entered the main gate and we were greeted by the young guy, a part of the family who still lives there. There are chickens around and we were invited by one...more
Just as I always do, I take long walks - be it morning, afternoon or evening - around town or cities. I wandered around Hama's central area, watch people, observe cultures, it's the holiday - Eid - season, so people are busy wandering around town. You'll always find things that's quite interesting just walking around. If you're hungry sit at one of...more
There are 17 norias - giant water wheels used to route water to aqueducts to feed agricultural areas. Hama produces half of the country's production of potatoes and pistachio nuts and other vegetables and fruits that is evident in the markets around the city.The norias seems to be only a display nowadys along the orontes river, which is not far...more
Like its namesake palace in Damascus, Beit al-Azem of Hama was built by the governor of Damascus Azem Pasha in the 18th century. This palace, however, pre-dates the Damascus one and had been built before Azem Pasha was appointed governor of Damascus. It is thus smaller, and is now converted into a small local museum.more
When I came to Syria, one of the places I wanted to see most of all was Krak des Chevaliers. It is, after all, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, simply, "The finest castle in the world." Paul Theroux called it, "The epitome of the dream castle of childhood fantasies." What is it in our childhood that makes us dream of castles? Is it, I wonder, the...more
Hama's Cairo Hotel is one of the great travellers' hotels of the Middle East. It is nothing much to...more
This is one of the best three-star hotels in Syria. Rooms are comfortable, very clean and all have...more
In December 2006, my fellow travellers and I were in Hama for only one night, on our way from...more
Saray is a fairly new place in Hama. Located on the second floor of a building it offers an excellent view to the Orontes River and it seems to be the favourite place of the young and wealthy people of Hama. Although it is called a restaurant, it seems that the only food it serves is –a quite tasty- Italian pizza, juices and good Italian coffee.more
The closest to a western fastfood I've seen and taken a meal at is the King Food right at the Hama bus station. I was so hungry when I arrived in Hama from Damascus from the long ride, right at the rightside when you exit the bus station gate, you'll see this fastfood. Several tables and chairs in red color motif, the food smells good, I also...more
I got caught up a little under the weather. Colds. And before it got worse, I started drinking fresh orange juices, and Hama has a lot of these small fresh juices shop just at the corner end of Quwatly Street opposite end of the Clock Tower along the street of Riad Hotel And Cairo Hotel. Freshly aqueezed orange juice.more
The Ali Baba restaurant is just a few walks from Riad Hotel along the Quwatly Street, near the souk. It's a small local restaurant famous for its falafel. There are some tables and chairs inside the resto. Falafel is very cheap and a good on-the-go food costs I think SYP20 or 25? ...or half a dollar.more
An excellent choice in Hama, Aspasia is a fairly new restaurant located in the heart of the remaining restored section of the old town. A beautiful ancient mansion has been restored and converted into the Restaurant. The elegant main dining room is in the mansion's courtyard (now covered). The restaurant offers a delicious Syrian menu with some...more
Hama is a very conservative town and most of the restuarants do not serve alcohol. We found it quite difficult to find anywhere to have a drink in the evening. But, in the small Christian quarter there is one nightspot, called Family Club. It is an open-air roof terrace where beer is served and it's open from 6pm until late. Food is served after...more
This is the area of The Old Town in Hamah.It's next to the Orontes River & also next to The Al-Mahmuriyya Noria.There are actually several norias (water-wheels) in Hamah.The Old Town is a lively place indeed ! The fountain, the mosque & people are doing their night acts in this area.more
The Hama central bus station is not that far from the centrum, and unlike the bigger Damascus's Harasta, this one is quiet, no rush. Or maybe it's not a tourist season?A replica of a noria is in the middle of the courtyard of the station. There are several stores and coffeshops, fastfood, and several bus companies offices. I took the AlAhlia to...more
I woke up early in the morning, took a taxi for SYP50 to the Harasta bus station which is about 15 or less than half an hour from the Souk Sarouja. This is I think the central bus station for regional buses around Syria. A little chaotic but buying the ticket is not a hassle. I went to Kadmous bus office, asked the lady at the window for bus to...more
I did not find any shop.. but IO fell in love with these coats as soon as I saw them. Eventually I asked a taxi driver about it: he knew where one could be people (possibly in a private house or something).
What to buy: wonderful men coats with decorative embroideries.. all hand made... and normally with sheep skin inside for extra warmth
What to pay: about 100 $ or more for a really good one. A bit too bulky and expensve so I gave it a miss - but it was wonderful.
MAGDOUSIngredientsEggplantsSweet red pepper pasteCrushed walnutsOlive oilSaltSliced garlic (optional)The stuffingMix together the sweet red pepper paste with the crushed walnuts and the garlic.MOUHAMMARAIngredients100 gr. bread crumbs50 gr. sweet red pepper paste10 gr. crushed dried hot red pepper20 gr. cumin40 gr. concentrated pomegranate syrup100...more
We found what appeared to be one of the world's oldest toilets still in use. The Azem Palace has a toilet, for use by both men and women oddly enough, over which one squats. There is a place for each foot, and one squats rather than sits. Having learned about this type of toilet elsewhere, I have since tended to squat, rather than sit over...more
Afamia... among the more normal colums of the cardo, the ones everyone's got used to seeing.. there are some truly peculiar and unique ones. They date back to the 2nd centura and have "unusual carved designs and (...) twisted fluting" - now this description is not my own, but I could not come up with a good one to describe them. Why are they like...more
Afamia: after paying entrance to the site the warden gave me the following warning - ignore the men who will try to sell you artefacts - most are fake, and if they aren't, then you're doing something illegal buying them. Point taken! I looked around, and saw no one: no such men, and as a matter of fact no other visitors. I was alone. One minute later, out of nowhere, the first guy had appeared, on a motorbike. Did i want to buy an original little statue's head? Good price! i declined, a few times, and moved on. More guys appeared: same statue's head on sale - oh, so very original... even an old dignified man tried to sell me the 14th copy of the same original statue. What can I say? Those statues are clearly fakes... some of the coins that were offered looked a bit more authentic, but the seed of doubt had already been sown. No thanks!
The 2nd Pyramid is about 200 metres down the road from the 1st, on the other side. You need to walk through an olive grove to get to it. This is the biggest of the three pyramid tombs and the most impressive. Although the top half of the pyramid has gone, probably as a result of the earthquake in the 12th century, the structure is highly decorated...more
About halfway between Hama and Apamea, towering over a small village is the Castle of Shaizar. Although the hill had been settled since at least the first century AD, the castle was only built in the 10th century by Fatimid rulers. Since then, the castle has been occupied by several empires and dynasties, including the Byzantines in their brief...more
Situated one hour north-west of Hama, Apamea is a must see for anyone visiting the region. Founded in 300 BC during the Seleucid period, this city flourished under the Romans and remained important until Crusader times. The city was destroyed in the two major earthquakes of the 12th century and was never rebuilt. The archeological site is most...more
Hama... it really has been around for a very long time - actually from the Neolithic Age. From then on everyone seem to have passed by here: Assyrians, Greeks, everyone - yet very little of the glorious past has remained. Hama is basically your typical anonymous concrete Middle Eastern town, with one significant exception: the norias (water wheels)...more