The Road To Damascus And Beyond

posted by Ian Lewis in Club Meetings

Two important happenings this week - not only the scheduled illustrated talk but the return of .. THE CHAIRMAN!! Here he was - back from the Antipodes, looking tanned and relaxed! Says he missed us.....I bet!

Now on to the main event of the evening - a journey to the Middle East in the company of Barbara Lyddiatt from Gerrards Cross. The talk, illustrated by her excellent images (although her husband David got the credit for one!) was entitled "The Road to Damascus and Beyond". The hall was packed were we in for a blinding flash of enlightenment? No (the lights blew a fuse, though, which could have been some sort of sign!), but we were taken from the high-rise hotels, desert and sea at Bahrain, where their son and daughter-in-law live, to the crowded streets of Damascus in Syria where we saw images of everyday life - the shops - the crowded, busy streets (complete with life-threatening road works) - and, of course, the souk! From here we were taken through Jordan via Amman to the "city" of Petra and the desert area of Wadi Rum. Here we had a definite feeling of déjà-vu (except for those of us on the other side of the world at the time) for wasn't it only two weeks ago that we were there before? However, it's such a striking and unique place that a second visit was eminently worthwhile! (were they the same camels I wonder?). From here Barbara's pictures took us further north to the River Jordan. Would John the Baptist have recognised it (even when he had his head)? Now only one stretch of river is apparently accessible - most of it glimpsed through army-guarded barbed wire fences! Then on to the Dead Sea for a quick float (no scrolls, though!) and back to Bahrain.

A superb evening, with pictures taken both recently and in the 1970s, accompanied by Barbara's informative commentary, spiced with her very dry humour! I think we would also like to thank David Lyddiatt, too, for being a willing(?) model in several pictures.


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