Our Lady of Saidnaya Monastery

Just a 30km drive uphill from Damascus city there is a town called Said Naya, known for having one of the oldest monasteries in the World. It is run by nuns and is an important pilgrimage site for Christians and Muslims.

The bus ride was from the eastern bus station and cost only 250syrian pounds (50US cent!) The 5-6 checkpoints on the way went without hassle and an hour later I found myself standing in front of the Church.

My first impression was that there we so many Russian soldiers outside. Also the many visitors who were there in the beginning were Russians.

Once you get up the stairs you are in what feels like a small fortress, and I had a hard time finding out which was the right way before a nun came up to me, first asked if I was Russian and then pointed the direction of the door that said no cameras and shoes allowed in the church.

The inside was small. Full of pictures and candles. I did my prayers and then headed back to Damascus.