(Sergiopolis in Syria)
For me, History, Food and Nature are the most seductive elements of travel. And the middle-east provides a fascinating mix of all three. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I consider Lebanon one of those dream places to visit, mostly because of this lovely book by Colin Thubron. In the book, Thubron explores the history and culture of a pretty ancient land while walking across its pastoral landscape. Another interesting book that traces a historical thread of the middle east is ‘From the Holy Mountain’ by William Dalrymple. The book is only one I have read that brings out the ‘eastern’ roots of Christianity through its exploration of Syrian Christianity. Funnily enough, the book also solved an old doubt I had pertaining to odd christian names in Kerala, such as ‘Kuriakose’. For more on that, check out these posts.
And while on the subject of of the middle-east, here are my posts on middle eastern food.
And here is a post on my experience of Saudi Arabia, a country I wish everyone would go to (if they were allowed in!).
(Picture of peter & Paul, who are said to have set up the Patriarchate of Antioch. It is said that Antioch is the first city where ‘Christians’ were referred to as such. The Bishop of Antioch is called the Patriarch of Antioch)