"The silent gardens blurred green with river mist, in whose setting shimmered the city, beautiful as ever, like a pearl in the morning sun"
Damascus, Syria's capital, claims to be the oldest continuously inhabited capital in the world. Once the capital of the Umayyad Dynasty, it now houses the Syrian Government and with a population of 3.5 million, is the hub of Syrian economic affairs.
Geographically, Damascus is situated in the southwestern corner of Syria. It is built at the foot of a buttress of the Anti-Lebanon, Mount Kassioun, and at the border of a fertile plain, the Ghouta. It is situated just a two-hour drive away from the Lebanese capital Beirut and the Jordanian border, and about the same from the temporary Israeli border at the Golan Heights. The villages of Maaloula and Seidnaya are less than an hour away, and so is the Mosque of Al Sayidah Zeinab.
There is a direct route from Damascus to the ancient city of Palmyra, and a direct route running all the way to Aleppo, via Homs and Hama. There is also a direct route leading to the Jordanian border, and another through which you can visit Qanawat, Shahba, Bosra and other Southern sites.