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Damascus, Dimashq, Syria
March 28, 2006
Popular with a broad cross-section of travellers so consequently there is a wide choice of room-types and prices available. The rooms are situated in a traditional Timbouctou style building with two floors of rooms overlooking a large sandy and shaded courtyard. There are self-contained rooms available with A/C, but the majority have a fan and shared toilet/shower facilities. The rooms all feel cool and are pleasantly decorated and the shared facilities are clean and have plenty of room. All room prices include breakfast. You can camp in the courtyard or on the roof. The roof has a great view over the town and the dunes but if you’re camping up there it means walking through a large shared dorm to reach the stairs and you feel you’re being really noisy at night. Behind the main reception entrance is the bar and restaurant leading to a large patio area facing in the direction of the setting sun. Popular with tourists and locals alike, the bar is a wonderful people watching location. The food was well-prepared but a bit pricey with a spectacularly limited menu. With the combination of the Muslim feast and the Festival au Desert, Timbouctou was in fact spectacularly devoid of food when we were there. Spaghetti appeared to be the staple foodstuff around town so the hotel was probably doing quite well to rustle up some eggs. There were few guides and street vendors outside but that was because most had already left for the Festival. Being right on the edge of town but within easy walking distance of the centre, it’s the location of this hotel amongst other things that makes it a pleasant place to stay. Plus, there’s always the exciting prospect of an elderly gentleman known as "The Barber of Bouctou" who, regardless of your gender, will offer to give you a haircut and shave for a "bon prix!"
From journal Afternoon Tea in Timbouctou
Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands
August 9, 2001
From journal Mythical Tombouctou