01-Feb-2004 -- During our extended `Īdu-l-Aḍḥā holidays of January/February 2004 to Syria, we combined the on-road tour of the archaeologically and culturally rich country with visits to six Confluences (33N 36E, 34N 37E, 36N 39E, 36N 38E, 36N 37E and 35N 37E).
After the confluence visit to 34N 37E, we arrived in Tadmur (Palmyra) and checked into Hotel Zenobia, which is located conveniently at the edge of the marvellous Roman ruins. We spent the whole morning exploring Tadmur (Palmyra) with its extensive ancient roman city, temples, funerary towers and Islamic castles. In the early afternoon we packed up and headed north towards al-Raqqa via a newly built road taking us across the vast desert area and through al-Rasafa. We crossed the Euphrates River and into the town, and as it was the eve of the `Īd, the whole town was in a festive mood.
The following morning, the `Īd Day, it was raining and it was bitterly cold. Having found a nearby masjid to pray the special `Īd prayers and after having a `Īd breakfast at the Al Taj Hotel, we headed north on the muddy roads towards the Confluence 36N 39E, which was about 6 km away. We quickly latched on to the road leading to al-Ḥazīma and were passing through fields of conifers on either sides. Thankfully, the rain had stopped by this time and the skies were clearing up.
We pulled our vehicle to the side as we approached the Confluence, which was being indicated by the GPS as being in the middle of the conifer fields. We trekked the few meters through the field towards the Confluence. Happy in visiting the Confluence so easily, we headed back south, across the Euphrates and turned west towards the Lake Asad and the next Confluence at 36N 38E.