|Friday 18th May - Turkey - Antakya to Syria - Aleppo
We spent the morning in Antakya, also known as Antioch. We visited St Peters Church - a church in a cave. It isnt very large and isnt very impressive architecturally, but it was wonderful. It is believed to be where the apostle Paul preached over the period of the year that he spent Antioch. Peter is also believed to have preached there.
I found it quite emotional to be there actually. The building is humble in comparison to so many churches, but the history is so rich. When we were there a group of Italians were having a prayer meeting in the church. We couldnt understand their words but it was lovely to hear their earnest prayers and beautiful singing.
After the church there was time to visit the playpark once more before leaving for the Syrian border. I must say that I really liked Antakya. On the face of it Antakyas not got a whole lot going for it. It has St Peters Church, a museum and a few other sites, but from a tourist point of view, its certainly not Rome. The thing that sets Antakya apart for me is the people they were sooo friendly. We had lots of conversations with people and even where the language barrier prevented a conversation, we felt really welcomed. Thank you Antakya.
It took less than an hour to get to the border. The border crossing took about 2 hours. The girls were sleeping for most of this time so I stayed in the car with them while Andrew went from official to official. From the border to Aleppo was again less than an hours drive. The rural areas we drove through in Syria certainly seemed poorer than similar areas in Turkey.
We dont expect to camp much in Syria. (This is because there are very few campsites and everything is pretty cheap anyway. A good hotel room for the 4 of us, with breakfast, costs about