Today was a quiet day in many ways.  It is the last of the three day public holiday for Eid Ramadan.  We knew many places would be closed today, but we thought we would wander round the old city anyhow and see if there was any chance of any of them being open.

The first place we went to was Khan Assad Pasha – this was somewhere that Ann had visited a couple of days ago on the first walking tour of the city – I had not done the full tour as I wasn’t feeling well at the time.  It is a place of wonderful black and white Mamaluk architecture with a courtyard and fountain.  It was also closed today.

The next place we went to was the Museum of Medicine and Arabic sciences.  It was also closed.

It wasn’t all bad news though… there were a few shops open and I took the opportunity to get some photos of the the shops and traders.  After taking this photo…..

……the shop keeper left his shop and ran after us.  I was expecting him to be asking for some sort of payment or at very least to insist we buy something from his shop.  As we saw him approach we started to quicken our pace but when he caught up with us we found out that it was because he wanted to give us a large handful of sweets.  It was a lovely gesture.

We knew the citadel of Damascus would be closed it just isn’t open to the public at the moment – I think there is refubisment going on.  So I had to settle for a photograph of its walls.

Behind the citadel however is a very rare sight in Syria – public garden/park.  Historically houses are built around courtyards here and so there is little or no need for such public spaces.  This one however was a very welcome find and as there is a cafe at one end it’s a good place to relax and chill out.

At the front of the citadel there is a landmark – a statue of Saladin.  I’ve photographed it several times on different days but I keep coming back to it to try to get an angle that I’m happy with.  I think this time I got it.  Ann also wanted to photograph the statue and decided to “play tom-boy” climbing up on wall to get her shot – and tearing her skirt on a railing in the process!