Friday, March 24, 2006
Safita's Keep is an imposing remnant of a Crusader Castle, the only part of the 12th-century castle still standing. On a gorgeous day last April, we took a bus to Tartous and found a service to take us to Safita. The Keep is located in a beautiful mountain village (whose name I can't remember - everywhere I've looked says the town is also called Safita, but I could have sworn it was called something else). The village reminds me of Zabadani, just west of Damascus, but a little more upscale. There's an atmosphere about the place as if everyone is on vacation and is thoroughly enjoying his or herself. Because of the elevation (even when you're not standing on top of the 27-meter-high Keep), the town is refreshingly cool and has a fresh breeze blowing through it. The views from the top of the Keep are expansive:
If the sky is clear, you can see Krak des Chevaliers.
We paid a service driver to take us from Tartus to Safita's Keep, Hosn Suleiman, Musyaf, Qala'at Marqab, and then drop us off in Lattakia. The sites were fascinating, breathtaking, almost deserted, and completely explorable, as usual, but the drives inbetween the sites were also very scenic and enjoyable.
And below the Keep, on the way out of town, there is this charming Cave. I think they meant snack bar (and, come to think of it, cafe instead of cave).