Look at Syria

Apparently some bad stuff has happened in Syria recently. I hope that those I met and who helped me so memorably on my ride through the country are doing O.K. – but then they’re the probably the lucky ones, living in the rural regions rather than the political hot-spots.

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058810334/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058263711/

Of all of the Arab nations I rode through, Syria was my favourite. The hospitality was so enthusiastic that I was once physically dragged to the family home of a passing motorcyclist, hanging on to my handlebars for dear life – I was lucky to escape the following morning at all as they demanded I stay a second night!

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058815882/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058812978/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058817338/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058819802/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058821170/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058822650/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058823680/

Bicycle travel is often about knocking preconceptions on the head. Rather than a barren desert, Syria in January was rainy and cold. It wasn’t long before I got sick of the weather and headed inland – where I did indeed find a barren desert, as well as a mountain of Roman ruins, though entirely unmolested by the tourist hordes of Rome itself.

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058276911/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058827100/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058280439/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058283235/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058281581/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058832344/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/4981603539/

…for comparison…

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058835802/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058286555/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058289679/

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058838648/

It was a real struggle to head back to the coastal regions, where it was still cold, damp and foggy. If only neighbouring Iraq hadn’t been off-limits…

http://flickr.com/photos/tom-allen/6058839852/

The journey recounted in this archived post is now the subject of the award-winning documentary film Janapar: Love, on a Bike.

Click here to watch the trailer in a new tab →

5 Responses to “Look at Syria”

  1. Stephen Chapman

    Great photos Tom!

    Reply
  2. Alastair Humphreys

    Really great photos. Your photos seem to be getting better and better even though they’re a couple of years old!

    Reply
  3. Tom

    Cheers guys. This year so far has been a really fascinating darkroom (Lightroom) experiment, and a great excuse to re-evaluate those old stacks of raw pictures. A really powerful part of the creative photographic process that I’d always previously overlooked. More on the way!

    Reply
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