Friday, October 19, 2007

Deir ez-Zur

Arriving in Deir ez-Zur I alone was invited to the bus security office. They collected all the important information including my mother's and father's name. Then had to explain to them with their limit understanding of English that I would be therefor only a couple of hours to eat and see the suspension foot bridge. I decided to walk and quickly realized I was lost. Spotted the oldest and nicest minaret and work my way towards it. Found the center of town after asking at a shop where the direction included arm waved in a circle and then the arm swung hard to the left. At the round about I turned left and came upon the center of town. In Deir ez-Zur was the first place a local showed he was genuine not happy I was there. So they were happy I moved on from were they were.

The souk was a working souk as they built thing there along with selling. Showed a tailor the hole in my day pack and he immediately stop his other project and fixed my pack. Then would not except payment. Did see some Bedouin woman with face tattooing, but did not go for any pictures.

The 400m foot suspension bridge a bit modern for my tasted, but it did allow me to cross over the Euphrates river. Big flat river to boat, but I can't remember if has any large sharp tooth lizards.
In leaving Deir ez-Zur required getting a hand written slip of paper from security to give to the bus company before I could buy a ticket. The bus company was concerned that I wanted to go to Mansoura,as it would be dark when I got there and there were no hotels. They wanted me to go to Raqqa as it had hotels. The guide noted Raqqa should be avoided for over night stays as they were not up to its low standard. I did not want to get stuck in Raqqa. I insisted on Mansoura even though it is not a regular bus stop. Paid a little extra for the ticket as it was not a regular stop which came out to 80SP. The helpful bus official asked for a $10 "souvenir" (his words) as I boarded. He ask several times, but I politely refused as I thought it was not a appropriate souvenir as it was useful and was not schlock.
Love & Kisses

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