72km Mhajjeh to Damascus

A black basalt mosqueThere’s not too much to report from our trip back into Damascus. We just put our heads down and focused on knocking off kilometers, letting our minds wander as the pedals spun round. We thought back to cycling through Europe, what lies ahead as we steer towards Iran and also dreamt about a large coffee from Tim Hortons. That last one seems to be a recurring theme from our daydreams! We may have left the Maritimes but in many ways the Maritimes haven’t left us. After yesterday’s lunchtime adventure we played it safe today, stopping for a chicken wrap by the side of the road and a very tasty one it was too with pickles, yogurt and hot sauce. Entering Damascus is reasonably easy on a bicycle, much less of a hassle than Istanbul, and not long after midday we were at our hotel, washing off the dirt with our first shower in four days. We’ll spend the next few nights in the city, getting our visas renewed and preparing to hit the road again, this time heading for Palmyra in the desert and towards the Euphrates river, which we’ll follow most of the way back to Aleppo.


  1. Becky
    30th November 2007 at 7:37 pm #

    Greetings. I’ve been flowing your blog for the last month. I started at the beginning and got a little nervous for you when there was a delay in posting after you arrived in Syria. I am happy to hear all is going well, and you have definitely inspired me to want to cycle in Syria.
    One question: how did you get your visa’s for Iran?

  2. friedel
    1st December 2007 at 11:56 am #

    Hi Becky, it’s nice to hear from you. Don’t get nervous if we don’t post for a few days. It usually just means we are in the middle of nowhere! We will be going into the desert soon so I imagine we won’t post more than once a week for the next little while. Syria is wonderful…. do come before it gets overrun with tourists! For the Iranian visa, you can always try your luck with any consulate but apparently chances are better if you get an “authorisation code” from an agency first and so that’s what we did. We went through STANtours but there are lots out there if you do a search. Once you get a code number (2-3 weeks after applying) you go to the Iranian consulate you specified in your initial application and then they usually issue the visa in one day. It was pretty easy, if expensive. The fees for the code were $45 USD each and then 60 euros for my visa and 90 euros for Andrew’s visa, plus various banking and photocopy fees. Iran is cheap to travel in though so it should balance out.

Leave a comment