NZ8800
Topic Author
Posts: 408
Joined: Tue May 16, 2006 1:42 pm

Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg DAM!

Thu May 18, 2006 8:29 pm

For me - as in the topic title, Damascus International Airport has to take the cake! Pulling up in between Saudi Arabian and Iraqi Airways felt very strange, as did "next departure for Baghdad" over the tannoy!
On arrival, Immigration didn't believe New Zealand existed, they saw my visa was issued in Canberra and insisted I should be travelling on an Australian passport. They implied NZ had illegally separated from Australia and had no right to issue its own passports!!! An hour later they came back tails between legs after obviously telephoning HQ in town... throughout all this they were very polite and looked after me well.

Approach to DAM was down over the Anti Lebanon Range - I love that name! - with a large bank to the left out over the brown flat stony Syrian Desert - it felt like we were flying over Mars! Then another bank, lining up for finals, with a smooth touchdown.

The terminal is long and low, two storied, with about ten gates with airbridges, and several remote gates. Security is tight, very tight, and unfortunately I could not get any photographs. The photographers who took shots at Damascus were braver than I was.

The vast majority of aeroplanes were Syrianair, but there were a fair sprinkling of Arab carriers - aforementioned Saudi Arabian and Iraqi Airways, Egyptian Airlines, Iran Air, and others expected later that day. Austrian, KLM, Air France, and British Mediterranean service DAM from Europe.

Going out was worse than coming in - three passport checks before immigration - should I say emigration - clearance to leave Syria! And DAM is a first world airport until you see the toilets - the stench carries right down the corridor...!!!

I was also amused at the small library at the airport... "The Syrian Arab Government Society For The Publication Of Printed Matter".
Must reccommend the cheapest duty free shop I have ever seen though, and the stock looked good quality.

They chop bits out of the Time Magazine that they don't like, the one English language paper there is a total hoot - all sorts of dire hints about what our enemies are up to without saying what, and they call President Bush "the man of limited faculties in Washington" which is probably the one statement in that paper that a lot of people would agree with!!!

Syria has a terrible reputation abroad, but most people in the "rogue state" are busy paying the rent, buying food, and trying to bring up their children, as are their counterparts in the West. As long as religion and politics are not discussed, and you cover yourself well (men included), there is little to fear, and the people are some of the kindest, most helpful, and friendly lot that I have ever met. And the amount of food they feed you...!!! for US$6 I got a plate of mixed appetisers, which came with free raw vegetables and chillies and gherkins, arab bread, a beer handle sized fruit smoothie, 4 arab pastries with clotted cream and pistachio nuts, and three cups of tea... and this in a restaurant dripping with crystal, gold fountains, and pink silk hung on the walls!
MDZWTA ~ Mobile Disaster Zone When Travelling Abroad
 
Flying-Tiger
Posts: 3925
Joined: Mon Aug 23, 1999 5:35 am

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Thu May 18, 2006 8:34 pm

Mulu - Malaysia. Right in the middle of nowhere in Borneo, about 1.5 hours away by F50 from Kota Kinabalu, and 30 Minutes from Miri. Take-off and landing are only allowed into one direction, apron however is able to host at least two F50s at the same time. Waiting room? What's that?

Destination itself is right in the rainforests, including one large scale resort. Nice to relax a couple of days...
Flown: A319/320/321,A332/3,A380,AT4,AT7,B732/3/4/5/7/8,B742/4,B762/763,B772,CR2,CR7,ER4,E70,E75,F50/70,M11,L15,S20
 
Jetboy
Posts: 178
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 8:42 pm

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Sat May 20, 2006 6:19 am

Baku, Azerbaidjan.... Tbilisi, Georgia....Kittilä,Finnish Lapland
 
Robbie86
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 11:35 pm

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Sun May 21, 2006 1:36 am

Chennai, India, Feb 2005 =P
 
AlexPorter
Posts: 1655
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2006 11:10 am

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Sun May 21, 2006 1:19 pm

Puerto Vallarta! I don't get out much, apparently. It was the only time I've had to take a bus to the terminal.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
lanalemania
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2003 12:23 am

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Thu May 25, 2006 7:00 am

Iquitos (IQT), Peru. The only way you can get there from 'outside' (e.g. Lima) is either by boat or plane, as there are no road connections to the coast.

Furthermore, on my way to IQT there was an intermediate stop at Pucallpa, and on the way back in Tarapoto, though I did not leave the plane there. Had the (dis-)pleasure of experiencing this trip on a TANS Peru 737-200.

In Europe, it may be Tromsö (TOS) for me.
"I love flying. I've been to almost as many places as my luggage." - Bob Hope
 
BAxMAN
Posts: 654
Joined: Fri May 28, 2004 7:51 am

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Thu May 25, 2006 7:14 am

You won't visit a city with more unusual people than Los Angeles.
I need to get laid
 
bananaboy
Posts: 1473
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 6:58 am

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Fri May 26, 2006 6:18 am

Quoting AlexPorter (Reply 4):
Puerto Vallarta! I don't get out much, apparently. It was the only time I've had to take a bus to the terminal

Haha.

I went there, and for a Brit, that's pretty unusual. Most people haven't heard of it - only Cancun. Pula (PUY), Croatia, used to be pretty unusual but that is now becoming more popular. Other than that, I guess Koh Samui or Praslin Island, Seychelles.


Mark
All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
 
don81603
Posts: 1105
Joined: Sun Jul 24, 2005 12:07 am

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Sat Jun 03, 2006 8:57 pm

Quoting BAxMAN (Reply 6):
You won't visit a city with more unusual people than Los Angeles.

I beg to differ. New York has 3 times the people of LA, and 15 times more diverse population. Most are pretty normal, but in my 5 years of visiting the Big Apple twice a month, I've seen more than a few bizarre goings on...
Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.
 
airxliban
Posts: 4288
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Most Unusual Destination You Have Visited Eg D

Sat Jun 03, 2006 9:51 pm

Quoting BAxMAN (Reply 6):
You won't visit a city with more unusual people than Los Angeles

What are you referring to? The crack whores? The hollywood wannabes, the illegal immigrants that just jumped across the border, the drag queens or the gangsters? The pimps n hoes, the rednecks, the mad moms in minivans, the valley girls, the rap stars? Or something else  Wink
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.

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