Last week we were in Damascus, Syria for a lifestyle shoot for the Chams Palace hotel with photographer Katarina Premfors. It was the first time I had visited this intriguing city and the thing that strikes you more than anything is the history of the place! Beautiful, historical buildings, hammams, art exhibitions in old schools, the souk and of course Umayyad Mosque where we were invited in as special guests.
The driving was a little crazy, and i loved the little yellow taxis! There were some other nippy ways to get around town too…….
In Chams Palace Hotel they have a cafe Called Cafe Brazil. It has open windows onto the street and has a charming Parisian feel to it! At the far end there was this loud methodical thumping noise. I asked the hotel manager what was going on and he took me over to meet two men, they were making ice cream!!! they explained the process to me: first they put the cream into freezing containers and then pounded it with a large wooden pestle. When the consistency was right it was rolled up and rolled in pistachios. They then slice this when serving to customers. I was given some to taste and it was rich and creamy with a delicious crunch!
I had a great few days there but would love to have had more time to explore and look around. The people were so friendly and even with limited communication I realised that everyone we met had such a sense of humour, like make you laugh out loud, funny!!! There are some lovely boutique hotels in the old city which definitely deserve a re-visit! Here are a couple we visited and I look forward to my next stay at one of them and tasting some more local dishes as I have been told that the Syrians are known for being the best cooks in the Middle East!