The first stop in Syria was Aleppo; a more traditional city in the north of the country. Upon arriving & finding a cheap hotel we soon immersed ourselves in the city’s labyrinth of alleys.
The city’s biggest souk, which seems to run all the way to Damascus, offers everything. Every possible colour is contained within its clothes, carpets, spices, meats, household goods, and anything else you care for.
The smells contained within include the life-cycle of a chicken shwarma: the live chickens, the raw meat from the butchers, the spices used to flavour it, the smokey grill used to cook it, through to the the cardamom-infused coffee & apple scented tobacco used to digest it.
Market sellers shouting, vans beeping horns, meat sizzling on a grill all assault the ears. The clink-clink of tea-sellers, hauling their urn in one hand, in the other chinking a couple of glasses from which the sweet shai is consumed.
And Syrians are incredibly welcoming people. Walking in the street, they will often ask “Where are you from?” and upon replying, tell you sincerely that “You are very welcome in Syria”, ahlan we sahlan. This is how we met Ala’a on our first night, who walked us around the city, before taking us to his favourite narghile joint.
More photos from Aleppo.