Favorite thing: Old Palmyra is the site of the famous wonderful roman ruins, and the former "kingdom" of the legendary Zenobia. No matter how much or how little you have read about it, nothing can prepare you for the sheer beauty of the place: it's huge and impressive - with wonderful columns, ruins, engraved rocks, temples, theatres and whatver else you can think of.
Fondest memory: Basically being the only person visiting this impressive archaeological site: it's a truly deep and nearly mystical experience... a very intimate and peaceful one, too. One of the highlights of my Syrian journey
Favorite thing: New Palmyra is nothing to write home about: concrete buildings one ofter the other, and a main street where everything seems to happen: most hotels, restaurants and shops are located there. There's virtually nothing to see, yet it's not charm-free: there are plenty of friendly people about, just willing to stop you in the streets and have a little talk or invite you in for tea.
Fondest memory: Being stopped by a date shop owner called Husein: upon hearing I am allergic to dates he felt sorry for me and invited me in for tea, and then as I was leaving gave me a keffiyeh as a present and to apologise for my allergy. Go figure: this makes no sense, but I was really charmed by his kindness.
Favorite thing: Palmyra is not Palmyra anymore.. it's Tadmor, now - from its ancient semitic name. Palmyra it's an oasis in the middle of the Syrian desert, about 3 hours from Damascus. And just because this is Syria, things are never like you expect them to be, so th desert is nothing sandy and soft, but dry hard and arid land, with some rocky low hills thrown in between. Yet it has its own perverse fascination
Fondest memory: The ruins, obviously. They are among the msot impressive I have ever seen, and also the unappealing new town with its very appealing and friendly people. But also, and especially, the desert, so unique and different from other deserts I have seen
Fakhrad-din Almaany the II castle :
Favorite thing: the Arabic castle aka castle of IBN MAAN the Lebanese prince Fakhr ad-din al-Maany the second, who ruled internal Syria besides Lebanon.- 16th century-, builds it on a top of strategic mountain, it's overlooking enables defense army to explore the enemies from far away distances in the desert.
It was surrounded by a wide moat supplied by a drawbridge..has no ornaments or writings…. as time goes on still in good case.
Now it's necessary to clamp the mountain to it , within Palmyra visit.
Fondest memory: worthwhile to see this castel.. worthwhile to get up to the top of that mountain then look away in all sides it's splended overlooking.
The modern city :
Favorite thing: Palmyra today is a modern city with straight streets , and a lot of hotels , cafés and restaurants. Surrounded by a fertile oasis.
Inhabitants economic depends on agriculture, trade and tourist services . live around some Bedouin tribes depending on breeding.
Fondest memory: Palmyra kingdom boomed and reached to the top in the second /third century A.D. when the caravans crossing from the east to the Mediterranean sea and Europe and vice versa.
Palmyra is a desert city, .. very high temperature in summer , and low humidity. That made it's astonishing nights waft , as well as the distinctive sun rising and sun set . in this times it's better to be on a rock , delving of ancient civilizations great, that's magnificent and unforgotten event.