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Route Planning Where to go, when, what are the interesting places to see
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  #1  
Old 21 Feb 2010
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turkey, syria, jordan route

i'm crossing into turkey from iran in mid march 2010. i have to get the ferry from aqaba jordan to egypt. i was gonna check out damascus in syria, and petra in jordan. i have about 2 weeks for syria, and 2 weeks for jordan.

where is the best border crossing from turkey? i don't need to go to ankara or anywhere east, and i think it will be a bit cold to hang out for long so keen to head south.

anywhere i shouldn't miss in syria?

thanks in advance
dave
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  #2  
Old 21 Feb 2010
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turkey, syria & jordan

Hi Dave, mid-march will be cold in northern Iran and Turkey, you have to cross a 2600 + meter pass from Dogubayazit to Van, after that you should be ok. Find yourself a stick, I’m not joking, to beat the shit out of the free ranging sheep dogs on the mountains, they nearly had me off. Just waving a stick should be enough, they know what it is. After Lake Van make for Nemrut Dagi ( the one with the enormous heads), the cheapest accommodation is with Murat in Karadut village, and he can run you up to the mountain for Ytl rather than Euro. Sunset rather than sunrise. It is possible to drive yourself, but the road is a bit dodgy in the dark, and slippery. There is other accommodation just outside the village, but they might not be open. Too early for hot-air balloon in Cappadocia, but it is weird scenery.
You enter Syria north of Aleppo at Kilis. Head for Museum Parking near Clock Tower, they look after your bike while you check out hotels in the area, try Tourist Hotel first. Citadel and souq.
Crusader castle at Krak des Chevalier
Maaloula, Aramaic Christian mountain village
Palmyra
Dura Europas, just oldest, but long desert ride
Damascus, shisha cafe, second floor opposite Saladin statue. Hamman Nureddin is a rip-off, try Hamman Bakri in Christian Quarter, not been there but good report. Best schwarma in town on Martyr Sq, south side. Cheap, and grotty, hotels too, more traveller places in Souq Saroujah area. You need secure parking.
Duty-free alcohol in no-mans land

Jordan – Wadi Rum, any number of tours, can’t recommend any as we had special treatment through friends. Very special place.
Petra, again special treatment, so no recommendations, just get up early and climb to the Viewpoint before it gets hot.
Safe travels
Peter, in Oslo
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  #3  
Old 22 Feb 2010
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Syria&Jordan

Hi there,

Agreed with Peter and in adition try to visit in Syria- Bosra-Amphyteater,really nice-GPS N32 31 03.8 E36 28 58.9

Jordan-Mount Nebo GPS N31 46 05.8 E35 43 32.0 , Jordan River Jesus Baptised place GPS N31 50 14.4 E35 32 57.5
Kerack Castle-GPS N31 10 54.9 E35 42 06.8

Enjoy your travel!

Regards,

Simon


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  #4  
Old 12 Mar 2010
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Hi, It will be very cold in the NE of Turkey and the weather is very changeable on the run from Dogubayazit to Van. I got stuck in a blizzard there in late April. 80 kph winds and no visibility. No fun!
It's doubtful that you will be able to get to Nemrut in March. The road to the top is often not open until mid April. It takes them a bit of time to clear the five meter deep snowdrifts.
The advice about the dogs and a big stick is very good. They are very big dogs, very mean dogs and they come out of nowhere. More of a problem on the backroads. Hasankeyf, Mardin, Harran and Sanliurfa are well worth seeing. Gaziantep has great food.
Be aware that the roads are generally in good condition but they can be incredibly slippery! Lots of diesel spills and marble aggregate. I have never seen roads with so little traction! Other road users seem to have little regard for people on motorcycles. Overtaking on blind corners is a speciality!
I was in Turkey for six years so if you want any more info let me know.
Enjoy the trip!
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  #5  
Old 13 Mar 2010
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Hi.
I went to Jordan recently and loved it. Wadi Rum was spectacular but it get REALLY cold at night. I couldn't believe it but the sunset and sunrise were breath taking and it's peaceful. It shouldn't be a problem organising a tour as the locals are well organised. If you go to Petra, go early. We went at 7AM and had the place to ourselves for at least 2-3 hours before the tourists started to show. It is an enormous area. Enjoy.
Mike
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  #6  
Old 1 Jul 2010
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Thanks for the poi's, will be checking these out forsure when I'm there next spring/summer.
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