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The last stop of our little tour of the country was the charming city of Aleppo. The star of this post is the utterly atmospheric and famous Hotel Baron. Opened in 1909, it has seen a plethora of famous guests...

 

<copypasta> from Wikipedia: The second floor of the hotel has witnessed the presence of political leaders and a lot of figures of culture: Lawrence of Arabia slept in room 202; King Faisal declared Syria's independence from the balcony in room 215; Agatha Christie wrote the first part of "Murder on the Orient Express" in room 203. The Presidential Suite was occupied in turn by King Gustaf VI Adolf of Sweden, Egypt's Gamal Abdel Nasser, Syria's former President Hafez Al Assad, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (the founder of the United Arab Emirates), and the American billionaire David Rockefeller. Other notable guests include Dame Freya Stark, Julie Christie, Mr and Mrs Theodore Roosevelt, Kemal Attaturk, Lady Louise Mountbatten, Charles Lindberg and Yuri Gagarin. </copypasta>

 

And of course, us. Abida has a rapport with Walid, the current manager, and we were welcomed with warm handshakes as we arrived after a long day of driving. Settling into our suite in rooms 208 and 209, we dusted off our clothes and lounged in the bar as we waited for the last member of our little traveling party.

 

Several more photos in the comments - click the photo for a little taste of colonialism and (sorry to say, kitch).

 

EF17-40mm f/4L USM | 25,0 sec | 19 mm | f/18 | ISO 100 | Aperture priority mode | 0 EV

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Taken on February 12, 2010