On the way to Palmyra, we stopped for breakfast at Baghdad.
Yeah, well not Baghdad in Iraq, but Baghdad Cafe, Syria, about 135 km from Damascus. I think it is run by two brothers and their families. Tourists usually stop here for a drink and washroom break.
Our breakfast - at an inflated tourist price of 250SYP. They make their own bread, yoghurt, cheese and jam. I remember that the cheese was extremely salty. Eggs from the hens they rear. This is the standard Syrian breakfast which was not to my tastebuds actually; I find it too bland.
Accommodation is available at the back, an oddly-shaped building with domes and walls made of mud and straw - 2 units of bedrooms with sharing facilities. Though I don't see why anyone would want to stay here overnight. The family stays here and they are self-sufficient. Goats, chickens, olive trees, water. Except, maybe they have to buy flour for the bread.
An Arab desert version of a scarecrow, to scare away foxes which prey on their chickens. Oh that's Julie in the background. Sand and stone left right centre - it really felt like it was in the middle of nowhere in the desert.
The cafe was featured in the Guardian UK's travel section last August. So, of course, after this kind of write-up and exposure, a lot more tourists will come to know of this place, a 'destination' on its own?
Its door covered with stickers of all things travel.
We also stopped by the roadside when we spotted shepherds with hundreds of sheep. Confession : touching that mule was scary. Haha. I was afraid it might kick me!
The closest we got to Baghdad? Not that close actually, it's another 152 kms away to the right, yet there was already military presence in form of checkpoints manned by armed soldiers/guards. And I was surprised to find out how close we were to other places - you can also do a day-trip to Beirut from Damascus.
I just felt like jumping while crossing the road - the shepherd must think I am mad :)
I enjoyed the long journey through the desert - our van was very comfortable, the weather was super-fine, the skies cerulean blue, the road in good condition and just seemed to go straight without any turnings.
No - I don't miss the breakfast. Give me nasi lemak anytime.