Long Threads – Syria’s Silk Road (CNN Traveller)

My latest piece on the Silk Road in Syria has appeared in the Jan/Feb 2011 edition of CNN Traveller. Here’s the e-magazine (it’s on page 60).

Camels at Palymra, Syria © Gail Simmons

“A deep silence settles over the city, broken only by the barking of wild dogs and the call to prayer from the minarets of Tadmor, the modern village that grew up after the Bedouin were turfed out of the ruins when the archaeologists moved in.

Like that other great desert city, Petra, Palmyra made her fortune by charging levies on the goods that passed through her gates. But the Silk Road was much more than a trade route where money changed hands. It was a meeting place where ideas were exchanged, cultures mixed and artistic influences spread.”

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