Roman Theatre, Bosra, Daraa, Syria.

This mornings start was earlier than yesterday.  My alarm went of at 6.40am, and after breakfast we were on the coach at 8.15am ready for our trip to Bosra.  Please note that there are various spellings of the city name but is should NOT be confused with Basra with is in Iraq and no where near where we are going.

Exterior view of the church. Saint George’s Church, Izra, Daraa, Syria.

First stop on our Journey is in Ezra, or Izraa, or Ezraa, or Ezrae depending on how you wish to spell it – this is going to make keywording and captioning my photos interesting when I get home! Ezra (let’s settle on that spelling shall we?) is notable for it’s Byzantine church which is the oldest church (with documented evidence of it’s age) in Syria.

Roman Theatre, Bosra, Daraa, Syria.

Bosra is an ancient Roman city… or at least the ruins there of.  One part of the city that definately isn’t in ruins is the Roman theatre with is just about intact.  It is certainly the most complete Roman theatre that I have ever visited.  It’s survival being large due to the fact that it was converted in to a fort.  By conversion I mean huge ramparts surrounding and protecting it.  It is also still used as a theatre – it would be a fantastic plase to stage Hamlet as it has it’s own set of rampart for the Ghost to walk on!

Roman Theatre, Bosra, Daraa, Syria.

The City of ancient Bosra hasn’t faired quite as well as the theatre but it is is interesting all the same to walk through the ruins and imagine the Romans living here. 

A view of the city. Ancient Roman City, Bosra, Daraa, Syria.

In a strange way a walk through Bosra is like a walk through time as beside the roman remains we find bizantine churches, a medieval mosque and even pockets of 20th centuray homes built on to the ruins some of which are still being lived in today.

Looking east along the main axis. Ancient Roman City, Bosra, Daraa, Syria.

Back to Damascus at 4.00pm and time again to go out and try to exchange our travellers cheques.  Again no joy the bank we visited couldn’t even suggest anyone who could exchange them.  So time to hit the ATM… except even that isn’t easy either.  I can’t get any money out of my business account, I have a nasty feeling that Barclays may have blocked the transaction.  [14 Oct 2008: When we got home we found out that is exactly what had happened!] We did manage to get some money out of other accounts, hopefully we will have enough to see us through the holiday.

Columns along the Cardo Maximus. Ancient Roman City, Bosra, Daraa, Syria.