Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


May 17, 2013

Sweet Dreams in Syria

If you were to ask me what my most favourite night’s sleep while travelling was you will probably be surprised that it doesn’t consist of a beautiful suite in a five star luxury hotel, there were no Egyptian cotton sheets, no room service and too be honest there was no hotel.  Are you shocked to hear that my favourite night’s sleep was while I was camping!  I’m actually not a total princess contrary to opinion.

I was on an overland tour through the Middle East from Istanbul through to Cairo; the first of three that I had booked back to back.  I won’t lie, I had never camped prior to my overland tour so I knew I had a challenge on my hands as my tours consisted of 5 weeks in the Middle East, 2 weeks in Morocco and then 7 weeks in Africa; hence I grew to love camping pretty fast!

One of the first things our tour leader had told the 6 passengers on board (5 Australians and 1 Kiwi – that kiwi would be moi) was that we would suffer from diarrhoea and yes I will be over sharing with you all in this post.  I think I surpassed even my wildest dreams and had dysentery even before leaving Turkey and crossing the border into Syria.

Our first night in Aleppo was memorable for a few reasons, I had a Western toilet (thank goodness!), the sink was so close to the toilet that I could rest my chin on the sink (very useful when you have dysentery and its coming out of everywhere!) and the shower was directly above the toilet (great when you are suffering from a raging fever!) – it was the perfect set up if you where suffering from dysentery.  Now if this post was about my most memorable bathroom while travelling it was hands down the winner however we are talking about the most memorable sleep so I will get on with my story.  (Image of Aleppo Souk)


I found a few snapshots of my trip through Syria so thought I would show you how cool this country is.

80 pairs of shoes sweet dreams in syria

The next night was my most memorable night’s sleep while travelling, as we were such a small group of passengers it was decided to add an extra stop onto our tour at a set of Roman Ruins call Resafa which aren’t really on the Syrian tourist trail.  I wasn’t excited about the prospect of sleeping here as it meant I was about to have my first experience of “Rough Camping”.

Short description of “Rough Camping” – you are camping in the middle of nowhere, sometimes on the side of the road, you have no running water, there are no showers and there are no toilets (slight problem when you are still suffering from dysentery however I was getting a lot better and I had a super flat tummy – always looking for that silver lining).

We rocked up in the Overland Truck to Resafa and went exploring prior to the sun setting, the Roman Ruins are perfection and I have some fabulous memories including when a local gentleman turned up and I took this photo of both of us (I might have had a flat tummy however check out the double chin action going on!).


He was so fascinated by the digital camera and seeing himself on the screen that he asked if he could borrow my camera; hey why not!  Yeap the camera was placed into a car and disappeared, never fret it came back when he couldn’t see themselves on the screen any longer and he brought back a friend so he could see the photo.  Sometimes modern technology can be a real ice breaker when you don’t speak the same language! (Image)

resafa 3

Our Driver had kindly set up a camp fire just by the entrance of the Roman Ruins where we had a lovely meal, my first in days as when you have an upset tummy there is no point eating; just drink loads of fluid and don’t eat.  I remember that meal been one of the best I have ever eaten.  Our driver had a great suggestion to go investigating the underground cisterns in the Ruins by torch and you have to give it to the Roman’s; they were pretty darn clever. (Image)

syria resafa

After an eventful few days, an early night was required so I blew up the thermarest and pulled out the sleeping bag – the Roman Ruins were my room for the night.  Why is this my most memorable night’s sleep while travelling; I woke up to this sight, truly the most incredible sight when you wake up disoriented from sleep and think where on earth am I and then remember that you are sleeping inside Roman Ruins in Syria and all you think is WOW! (Image)

resafa 2

Syria is definitely in my top three list when it comes to my favourite countries in the world; the people and country are just amazing and I long to take my dad to visit Syria sometime in the future.

I hope that one day everyone will have the opportunity to discover what an incredible country Syria really is!

The Red Cross are still taking donations for the Syria Crisis Appeal and you can donate by clicking on this link.

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What’s your most memorable night’s sleep while travelling?  Come and Join the Travel Link up.




  1. February 1, 2014 / 2:09 PM

    gotta love a Western toilet!! 🙂

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 1, 2014 / 2:39 PM

      There are times when a western toilet is all you crave! xx

  2. February 1, 2014 / 2:25 PM

    Roman Ruins in Syria? Ohhh man I need to read a history book, I am ashamed to say I had no idea. I do not have a post on sleeping anywhere otherwise I’d totally link up.

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 1, 2014 / 2:39 PM

      The link up is still open until the 5th Feb if you fancy writing a post prior to that, we would totally love to have you link up with us. Yes lots of Roman Ruins in Syria – truly an amazing country xx

  3. Sara
    February 1, 2014 / 5:07 PM

    Wow, how amazing that you have been there and what an incredible sight to wake up to!

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 1, 2014 / 7:50 PM

      It was an amazing sight to wake up too however I think like you I had some pretty memorable sleeps in Africa xx

  4. February 1, 2014 / 7:17 PM

    What an amazing trip (minus the dysentery), although Iove that you found the silver lining with a flat tummy haha

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 1, 2014 / 7:49 PM

      It was an amazing trip and there is nothing better than a flat tummy 😉 xx

  5. Molly S
    February 1, 2014 / 8:19 PM

    Wow. I’d really love to go to Syria – maybe one day when it all settles down over there! Although I do love me a proper toilet……;)

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 1, 2014 / 8:21 PM

      Haha I do love a western style toilet however sometimes you have to give up those luxuries to visit a new country but I did find a few western toilets in Syria – fabulous country. xx

  6. Vanishing Point
    February 2, 2014 / 9:25 AM

    I did some travel in Syria and, even though my roots are Syrian, I have never been to this place or even heard of it – wish I had, I would have loved to see it. Might be gone now.

    Im really impressed it was your most memorable sleep, though i cant blame you, it is pretty spectacular to wake up to that.

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 2, 2014 / 10:20 AM

      Wow I didn’t realise you had Syrian roots – where are your family from in Syria? Do you still have family there? Fingers crossed they haven’t damaged the ruins.

      Yes my most memorable night, it’s not very often you get the chance to sleep inside Roman Ruins


      • Vanishing Point
        February 4, 2014 / 8:48 AM

        My family is from Damascus and i still have plenty of relos there. I do hope the ruins survive.

        True, most places would be fenced off with 24hr security. So lucky.

  7. February 2, 2014 / 9:40 AM

    sorry, i left this comment on another post too – i’m sure you can delete the other one. What a beautiful country! Shame what’s happening now – lucky you got to see it when you did.

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 2, 2014 / 10:18 AM

      Syria is gorgeous and fingers crossed one day everyone else will have the chance to see what is on offer xx

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 2, 2014 / 9:19 PM

      It’s in my top 3, its stunning and the people are so kind however I don’t think even I would find afternoon tea in Syria 😉 xx

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    • Kelly Michelle
      February 3, 2014 / 8:14 PM

      I want to go back!! xx

  9. February 3, 2014 / 8:06 PM

    Definitely a memorable night then?! The ruins look great – I’ll have to add them to my very long travel list. X

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 3, 2014 / 8:14 PM

      It sure was! They were some of the best ruins I have visited – my list is like yours, always growing! xx

  10. February 6, 2014 / 6:35 AM

    Wow, that really does sound amazing! Awesome list of back to back Countries you went to. How did you find doing 3 tours like that? I would love to go to all of those places.

    • Kelly Michelle
      February 6, 2014 / 6:58 AM

      It was really amazing Nicole! I didn’t struggle doing all three back to back – there were days it was tiring however I think that everyone was in the same boat. Overlanding is a great way to see the world xx

    • August 23, 2014 / 1:35 PM

      Hey Lizzy, Syria is one of my top three favourite countries in the whole wide world; it’s such an incredible place with amazing people that make the country grand. It breaks my heart also re the crisis x

  11. November 12, 2015 / 9:52 PM

    Oh wow, Resafa looks amazing! I certainly didn’t know about that when we traveled through in 08, I suppose that’s the problem with going indie, you can miss some really cool stuff! That must have been the most incredible night sleep ever!
    The dysentery sounds horrific though, poor you!
    It totally breaks my heart to see Syria falling apart now, I hold it so dear. An incredible country with wonderful people.
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    • November 12, 2015 / 9:55 PM

      Ahhh i went in 2003 – we were such a small group so we made a few changes to our itinerary and I’m glad that we did. Dysentery wasn’t the best but would happily go through it all again to have this one memory.
      It breaks my heart as well as well

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