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May 9, 2002

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Transportation is easy to arrange in Syria - just go to a city's main bus station and someone will help you find your bus. Inter-city taxis are cheap too, 50 Syrian pounds (equivalent to $1 US dollar) gets you anywhere within the city bounds. Syrians treat foreigners will although they always ask where you're from - we try not to answer that question. This morning we arrived in Palmyra, an eastern desert oasis. In a Bedouin's garden tucked in the oasis, we buy fake student ID's for $10 apiece (go into any Palmyra hotel and ask discretely for a student card - someone will pop up and lead you to the right person). These transactions are shady but worth it; Syrian sites discount 95% to students so these ID's pay for themselves in one day.
During the Greek and Roman era, Palmyra was a rich desert trading town. The city's most famous character was Zenobia, a self-proclaimed descendent of Cleopatra. Like her hero, she fought Rome and lost.
More Roman theatre antics.
Cool site, but without student cards it's expensive to see everything here. Admission total for all Palmyra's sites: $18 for non-students, 45 cents for students.
Palmyra's best site: tower tombs.