The trail through Syria goes southwards; before that, however, we visit the Saint Simeon Monastery in the Dead Cities region. Anything but diversified, the steppe desert stretches all the way to the Anti-Lebanon Mountains; it is only interrupted by the Orontes River flowing through Hama.
In Aleppo we explore the citadel; this fortress is the largest and most imposing complex in the Orient. It is no wonder that the Crusaders failed twice here at the beginning of the 12th century. We also pass the largest Crusader fortress on our way through Syria to the Holy Land: the Christian bastion of “Crac des Chevaliers!” And naturally we use this sunny day of rest to visit the famous oasis city of Palmyra, a UNESCO Word Heritage Site...
Via the “Aramaic” mountain village of Maalula, where the language of Jesus’ time is still being spoken, we reach Damascus. An excursion to the Golan Heights enriches our experiences in Syria and rounds off our stay. Hiking towards the south past Damascus, we reach the Kingdom of Jordan via Bosra.