A night in Baghdad

On the way to Baghdad, we visited Taq Kisra, the remains of a palace of another ancient city, dated to the 3rd or 6th century AD, which was really spectacular.

We had to circle the building until we got the perfect view of the remarkable high arch.

Taq Kisra

It was the facade of the main palace in Ctesiphon, and is the only visible remaining structure of the ancient capital city. The archway is considered a landmark in the history of architecture. It was open on the facade side, about 37 meters high, 26 meters across and 50 meters long, the largest man-made, freestanding vault ever constructed until modern times. The top of the arch is about 1 meter thick, while the walls at the base are up to 7 meters thick. We couldn’t go inside, as another part of the vault had collapsed recently, but you get a good view from outside the fenced area.

Not easy to get Diesel, registration of the car is needed!
13 Euro Cent per liter Diesel ….

For Baghdad, we had chosen another hotel from IOverlander, which promised a parking suitable for big rigs. The area where we went was interesting, to be polite. First, we didn’t see anything which looked like a hotel, but then we spotted an entrance which looked a bit better than the surroundings. The friendly hotel owner gave us his room, as the rest of the hotel is only suitable for Iraqis, he said. The room was fancy, and we could park the camper in a courtyard next to the hotel. The entrance was narrow, past a military vehicle, with low-hanging cables, but we made it. We went out to explore the area and find some food.

Our hotel
Fresh bread
Fresh fish
Boiled cow legs
Boiled sheep heads
Fresh meat
Fresh juices
Falafel restaurant
Dinner for abt. 4 Euro, drinks included
Our nice host

The next morning, at 6.30 am, somebody nocked at our door. We had to leave the parking we had paid for, as the regular clients of the owner were arriving and he needed the space.

Our intention was to visit the National Museum, but we were of course too early, it opened at 9 am, and we didn’t find any parking in the area, so we gave up and left.

Traffic police with white shirts and funny shelters were regulating the traffic very well
River Tigris
Leaving Baghdad with a bit of a sandstorm
Military cars with mounted MGs were everywhere
Old man selling water bottles on the “highway” from Baghdad to Mosul

We would have liked to visit Samarra, but when we read, that you have to leave your passports at a military checkpoint before you get there, we dismissed the idea.

Next we wanted to visit Hatra, the impressive ruins of a strongly fortified caravan city and capital of the small Arab Kingdom of Hatra. At the turn-off we were told at the military checkpoint that we would have to get the tickets in Mosul, 70 km further north and came back, something we didn’t do.

On the route from Baghdad to the border to Turkey we had 13 military checkpoints and at every one, at least, our passports were thoroughly checked. We spent a last night not far from the border, where the temperatures were already lower than in the south. The next morning, we crossed the border without any problems.

4 thoughts on “A night in Baghdad”

  1. Ciobanu Catalin

    I read your blog in one breath, in just a few days. You are surely accustomed to kind words, but I sincerely tell you that I admire the way you travel, the courage, and the inspiration you convey. I would wholeheartedly recommend Lebanon, a country I visited for a month and found exceptionally beautiful, although it is almost impossible to reach by land. Thank you once again, and I wish you safe travels, health, and if you happen to pass through Romania, Bucharest, or anywhere else, I would be delighted to meet you. With admiration, Catalin.

  2. Harald Wittek

    Servus Cordy & Edi!
    Schön, euch wieder auf Tour zu sehen!
    Nun, Jordanien und Saudi Arabien hab ich auch in wirklich guter, schöner Erinnerung, was immer verschiedenste Medien berichten mögen.
    In mir kommt wieder wahre Reise-Sehnsucht auf, wenn ich mir eure Bilder und Zeilen über eure Iraq-Erlebnisse anschaue und lese, das ‘gute alte Mesopotamien’ einfach ‘mal gesehen und aktuell miterlebt zu haben … großartig!! – sicherlich auch nachdenklich stimmend.
    Ich wünsche euch eine schöne, sichere Fahrt in die Türkei!
    Alles Liebe in dieser Reise-Welt!

    1. Danke Harry,

      ja, alles sehr eindrucksvoll, vor allem im Vergleich mit der Geschichte ….


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