After Damascus I took a train to Aleppo. I bought the train ticket at the old Hijaz railway that used to run from Damascus to Medina, but had to go to a different one to catch the train. Aleppo is an interesting city as well, I spent a lot less time there but you could tell that it was a lot more conservative and hectic, the souqs on the street had a lot less of the organized feel, more yelling, more water spilled and vegetables strewn on the ground. I did wake up early one morning and head the “New Quarter” which I would have to say was not so new. With its own charm of winding cobble stoned streets and bread merchants. There I found a little shop to have some breakfast, after sitting down I was told what was on the menu, Foul (a fava bean dish) or Foul with tomatoes. So I go the Foul and watched the guy grab a bowl, splash in water, splash in Tahini (chickpea/Garbanzo bean paste) pour in the Foul from a cylindrical vat in the middle of this 8 by 8 “restaurant,” add a little hot sauce a huge chunk of onion and hand it over to me. It was really really good.
Before I left the city I walked around the old city early in the morning. Cities here basically don’t wake up to the late morning and if you catch them around the sunrise they are almost completely empty. I walked around the huge Citadel, with its large mote standing guard on a hilltop overlooking the old city and passed through the dark halls of the empty souq with its banners waving and garbage scattered in medieval era tunnels.