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Sunday 20th May - Syria - Crac des Chevaliers
After a drive of about an hour we arrived at one of Syrias biggest sites the Crac des Chevaliers, a huge Crusaders castle. We had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the castle and then went to explore it. You could spend hours exploring the castle (if you didnt have kids with you, of-course!). We were there for about 1.5 hours. The kids liked going into big halls and shouting Echo! for obvious reasons. The castle really is amazing just like you imagine a big fort should be. Its location is great on the top of a high hill overlooking rolling, fertile countryside.

Syria isnt big on its handrails and safety barriers, so there were quite a number of severe talkings-to, particularly directed towards Naomi. Keziah is very concerned about safety at the best of times Shell would be proud of her insistence that we use handrails on stairs etc. Naomi on the other hand runs around like a mad thing and wants to do everything BY MYSELF, which isnt so great in a place like Crac des Chevaliers.

Anyway we had a good time at the castle, even although we did view it at a rather disrespectful pace. The weather in Syria has been warm so far high 20s, but today it was windy in the morning and in the afternoon clouds rolled in, causing us to dig out our fleecies for the first time in ages.

We decided to stay at a local hotel for the night, so we booked into Hotel Bebers which seems very good. We returned to the same restaurant for dinner excellent meal and very friendly Englishspeaking host. We had a nice chat with him over coffee. He told us that the weather in Syria is unseasonably cold just now, normally it is in the 30s sometimes up to 40. His custom has dropped by half since September 11th - we felt really sorry for him about that. They get virtually no American tourists now. He was very helpful and kind, giving us his telephone number in case we ever had any trouble in his country.

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