"Ath-Thawra and Al-Assad Lake" Ath Thawrah by maykal
Ath Thawrah Travel Guide: 0 reviews and 1 photos
In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have gone to Ath-Thawra. I'd wanted to head out to a clifftop castle now made into an island by the Al-Assad reservoir when the huge dam was built. Unfortunately, there is no public transport to this castle, and I had chosen a day other than a Friday, so there were no picnicking families heading my way....instead I had to content myself with the view from afar, out across the lake from a park in Ath-Thawra.
The town of Ath-Thawra was originally constructed for those involved in building the dam, and once the valley was flooded, it was inhabited by those forced from their homes by the rising waters. needless to say, it is a wholly modern place with no character whatsoever...I could almost go as far as to say soulless.
But what to do if you are stranded in this town with no buses for hours? Well, head to the dam first of all...you can't take photos of it, as it is a sensitive area, and the guards, although friendly enough, wouldn't let me walk on it (no surprise there, really, but I was at a loose end so thought it would be worth a try), but it is enormous and impressive. Nearby, there is a shady park by the lakeside where one or two children like to splash around in the water...I'm not so sure how safe that is with the dam so close, but still, I was tempted to do the same, it being a very hot day.
People here are incredibly friendly, and I was approached by a gardener working in the park who wanted to chat...foreigners are a rarity round here, so he had a lot of questions, starting with "what are you doing here?". Quite...what was I doing there?! he told me he originally came from a village nearby, and described it to me as a peaceful and beautiful place...when asked where this village was, he pointed into the middle of the lake, and said, "under that" with a slight trace of bitterness in his voice.
Back at the bus station, I arrived to find that the 2pm bus was now the 4pm bus, and the very apologetic man behind the counter found me a chair in the shade adn plied me with conversation and tea until the bus finally pulled in.
Anyway, if you'd like to see pictures of the Al-Assad Reservoir and find out about the rest of the Euphrates region, then hop across to my Deir-ez-Zor where there is one huge travelogue devoted to the region ;@P
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