Just went on a solo trip to Damascus, Syria.
No theme parks here, but hell, I loved it so much! Old Damascus is now my second favorite place in the Middle East after Dhofar in Oman. History built upon history, physically, with active churches meeting mosques meeting synagogues meeting souqs meeting religious leaders meeting party folks meeting charming courtyard hotels. Think Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg 20 years ago.
The plentiful internet jibber-jabber will tell you that it's dangerous and difficult to get there. Fact is, the visa is ridiculously easy and fast. And I felt totally safe.
The Syrian people went through hell and back in the past 10 years. First the war, then the pandemic, now hyperinflation. No break. And while much of the media has portrayed them as head-chopping barbarians or toothless refugees, the truth is that – just as the Japanese, the Portuguese and the Omanis – they are some of the world's finest. Incredibly warm, smart, curious and open-minded souls hell-bound to build back better. They have both the brains and the attitude, so their time will come, eventually, no doubt about that!