Damascus has a fantastic old city and some very pleasant modern parts. The old city is great for wandering through and the Great Mosque (open to visitors, photography) is so impressive. Don't miss the Ottoman Governor's palace, too, a lovely oasis of calm amongst the bustle.
But the best thing was the people. Forget international politics - these people were inquistive and friendly, extremely helpful and keen to act as ambassadors for their city and country. I only had to look lost for a minute and someone would stop, help and almost always go way out of their way to guide me to where I wanted.
It always felt safe and their was no tourist hassle or hard sell approaches. None!
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