Sunday, May 23, 2004

Omayyad Mosque & Famous Graves

We started out the morning with a visit to the Omayyad Mosque. I have to admit, at first I was thinking I was about as Mosqued out as a person could be, but I'm glad I went. It has a huge courtyard and the site of worship for three thousand years (it was a temle to Hadad and then Jupiter before becoming a church and then a mosque). They did the call to prayer while we were standing in it. There is more than one muezzein and to hear them all together while standing in that place is an amazing experience. In the area of the mosque are the crypts of Ali, Salah ad Din (Saladin), and John the Baptist, and we saw those.

Didn't get to the museum because we were waiting on Tarik and he had to work until too late to go. Coffee at Noor's with her younger brother and mom. Coffee here means Turkish coffee unless you ask for Nescafe, which is basically American-style instant. Dinner at a cool restaurant called Zaman al Kheyer, located out of town towards the airport. It's huge, and kind of resembles a mini-golf course, complete with a mini volcano. (Later I would not find the restaurant so cool, but that will be tomorrow's post!) The food here is so cheap if you stay out of the hotels. Afterwards, off to the Meridian to watch the bellydancers. Not really different from the ones in the US, but maybe that's because we were in a touristy area. Omar says there are gypseys here but his friends talked him out of taking me. Said it wasn't so safe; we would get ripped off. So we didn't go.


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