November 22, 2009 GMT
If You Want To Know The Way

Ask a Policeman.

Here's one for Grandson Oliver:

Where's your Dad when we need him?

Signpost on the Road to Damascus

This one gave us some difficulty in deciding. So, no messing about, no easy option, we turned left.
Not exactly in our plans.
One hundred yards down the Road to Baghdad was the first petrol station we'd seen since leaving Palmyra.
All filled up, it was, I'm afraid, back to the easy option and west to Damascus.

There had been a filling station before here, at another major crossroads, but for diesel only. It was lunchtime and was full of huge trucks taking a break. We received a few invitations from the drivers to join them for a full-blown meal which we would have accepted if it had not been dark by 5pm, but it was an eyeopener anyway. The driver would nip round to the righthand side of his 40-ton-plus unit and pull out a huge compartment on runners. There on a table was laid out a four course meal, upon a damask table cloth, plus chairs stored below. Three of his buddies joined him for the magnificent feast and they called us over as well.
It was, for all the world, as though a 5-star chef lived in the engine compartment and had prepared this spread while the truck was on the road. I couldn't quite work it out!
We had to hurry on, trusting there'd be petrol at the Baghdad turn-off.

Years ago there was a remote and solitary café near this junction, The Baghdad Café, that became a legend amongst travellers in this area. It led to copies springing up, and in about 6 miles we passed four 'Baghdad Cafes'. We had no way of knowing the genuine thing so we hurried on.

Arriving in Damascus we camped in a northern suburb and took the bus in.
What a NICE place Damascus is.
A very pleasant and peaceful mosque, with westerners invited to enter the prayer room during prayers, which we had never encountered before.
And a wonderful series of souks, with wide alleyways (wide for a souk, that is), the usual amazing range of merchants; rope makers next to book shops, engineering machine shops next to incredibly colourful fabric merchants, and an atmosphere of calm peacefulness we had not yet encountered in Syria. Electric bicycles, quite common in Syria, silently whizzed up and down the alleys.

Outside in the Old Town the atmosphere continued amongst old French colonial style buildings squeezed up tight against each other, mixed up with Arabic mosques, Christian churches, Syrian tea houses and people and architecture from many other cultures, making this whole area simply a very nice place to be.
Highly recommended.

After a couple of days here it was off to Bosra, home of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatre in the world, followed by the Jordanian border and the next country on the list.

Magnificent Roman Amphitheatre at Bosra.

Posted by Ken Thomas at November 22, 2009 07:58 PM GMT

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events


HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!

What turns you on to motorcycle travel?

Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!

New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.

Books & DVDs


All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.

Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!