A One Hour Itinerary [Tartous - Al-Sawda & Back]
I stay on the old road until I arrive at the Dweir Taha sign and start my climb to the right. I stop on the side of the road anywhere and take a look back toward Tartous and may be have a cold beer.
Time to move on again, so I continue my ascend till I reach Dweir Taha on a picturesque scenic road. I stop at the east end of the village, dismount and enjoy the unrestricted view in all directions.
The cement factory is an out of place monstrosity in this otherwise serene backdrop.
Now I’m 8 km out of Tartous in the village of Al-Breij and I pass by Cantia Hotel/Restaurant. It looks like a real nice place, but I’ve honestly never been in.
Up ahead the road forks in two, and I sway to the left and step on it on the open stretch to Al-Sawda. Nothing much goes on during the day in this village, but on evenings and special holidays it would be teeming with life.
I have great memories of this excursion as a teenager. In the winter time, it would have been possible to virtually stop anywhere on one of the many branching trails and wait for thrush (سمن) at sunset and hunt it en passant. In other seasons, these same trails offered great concealment for two love birds in a car. Olive trees are a blessing in "disguise".