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Syria & Jordan

Anonymous
Wed, 09/22/2010 - 18:23

Hello there.  Anybody going on the Christmas & New Year tripto Syria & Jordan?

Audrey

Anonymous
Wed, 10/20/2010 - 22:55

Hello. I am going on this trip. According to the website there are only 4 places left so there must be another 10 people out there somewhere that are booked on the trip.

Anonymous
Tue, 10/26/2010 - 10:02

Hi - I'm going too. Booked just a couple of weeks ago. Very excited! No idea what 'kit' to pack though just yet. Cold or warm during the day do you think?
Tanya

Anonymous
Tue, 10/26/2010 - 12:22

According to the internet the temperature in Jordon in December has an average temp is 15 degrees celcius, so pack for Sept in the UK, and dont forget your bike seat.

Anonymous
Tue, 10/26/2010 - 18:55

I've ordered nice weather for this trip. Mid to high 70's during the day and a little cooler in the evenings. Cycled from Jerusalem to Aqaba two years ago same time period and the weather was great. Figure it should be the same since we'll be just a little further east.

Anonymous
Tue, 10/26/2010 - 20:37

DwalterM, Thanks for ordering the good weather, sounds good to me. I will pack my sun block and sun glasses.

Anonymous
Thu, 10/28/2010 - 14:29

I'm doing the biking thing. MXW But it's still the same country and the weather I ordered will work for you too.

Anonymous
Sun, 10/31/2010 - 07:59

I'm worried by all this talk of cycling...

Warm days and cold nights are norm, but if it rains, it really rains.

Fair winds

I am going on this as well. What about this gala dinner. Have we got to bring a dinner jacket as well as a sleeping bag?

;-)

Anonymous
Mon, 11/22/2010 - 17:57

Hello/Hwyl:  First time with Exodus Travel, tho I have been with Tucan (Peru & Nicaragua), Intrepid (India) and Gate-1 (Morocco & Ecuador). I'm a primary school tecaher. was travelling with 2 friends (from NZ & USA) who, sadly, had to drop out due to home circumstances, this past week.  Was in Kathmandu for half-term in Oct. Nepal was my 92nd country.

BALL: Well, glad I've finally logged in. I obviously need to read the detailed plan. I didn't know there was a gala dinner ! So, yes, what does one wear, when you only travel with a backpack ?

BIKES: First, I've heard of cycling.

BALMY or BRRRR ? :  I am assuming the first week will be wintry in Syria, then getting warmer as we head south through Jordan, to end up in a tent in pleasant weather?

I would also like to know the flight times, as I need to book a Nat.Exp coach to/from Cardiff, asap.

 

I

Anonymous
Tue, 11/23/2010 - 12:04

OMG have I booked onto the wrong trip?  I did book November 09 and dont recall needing ty Cycle anywhere.

Im really looking forward to this and booked it for the Indian Jone feel of the place.

I am a bit concerned regarding the October reviews lets hope they have changed the guide and given us better accommodation.

 Ive been on about 5 Exodus trips before so they cannot be that bad else I would not keep coming back.

Really looking forward to meeting you all, Christmas and New Year away from home....Im off to re read the trip notes to see what I need to pack.

 See you at the air port, lets see if we can spot each other in the departures lounge lol.

Shelley

Anonymous
Sat, 11/27/2010 - 15:35

Any suggestions?

We have enjoyed 'From the Holy Mountain' by William Dalrymple, travels in this area in the 90s 

Anonymous
Mon, 11/29/2010 - 15:18

Im really looking forward to this and booked it for the Indian Jone feel of the place.

I am a bit concerned regarding the October reviews lets hope they have changed the guide and given us better accommodation.

Ive been on a few Exodus trips before so they cannot be that bad else I would not keep coming back.

Really looking forward to meeting you all, Christmas and New Year away from home....Im off to re read the trip notes to see what I need to pack.See you at the air port, lets see if we can spot each other in the departures lounge lol.

Shelley

Anonymous
Mon, 11/29/2010 - 21:58

Just read that we need a thick sleeping bag for the cold night at Wadi Rum.

Do we have to cart our own round for a fortnight, or can we hire one for the single night ?

Tone <:)))><

Anonymous
Thu, 12/02/2010 - 17:40

Today, I received a courteous answer from Alessandra:

"Regarding the sleeping bag we do recommend you to take a 3/4 season as the temperature at this time of the year can drop bellow freezing at night. The camping will have blankets but it may not be comfortable  enough. Exodus does not offer the possibility of renting sleeping bag in Jordan so you will have to take  your own and carry during the trip. Please, remember that you will have a vehicle support all the time and help to move your luggage , so it will not be an issue . "

Tone <:)))><

Anonymous
Tue, 12/07/2010 - 16:08

I was having a problem with this due to luggage allowance for a two week trip.  Ive just found a sleeping bag in sports direct its only a season 2/3 but goes down to -4 (LOl will see) but it was only £7 in the sale and weights 1000g.

Its going to live in the bottom of my case for the one and only night it will be needed.

I understand we can only order Jorden money in uk (1-£) as Syria is a closed currency but first choice said just take pounds and change it up there. 

One of the previous travellers said we should take our own snorkling gear. 

Anyone else have any tips?

 

 

Anonymous
Tue, 12/14/2010 - 23:21

Better take warm clothing. Did you see the depth of the snow in Damascus on Monday/Tuesday ????

Airports and roads were closed in Syria !

Then snow will re-hit Britain on Friday, so I hope the buses will be able to run to Heathrow on Saturday morning.

My sleeping bag in huge, so I may well try Sprots Direct tomorrow. Thanx.

Tone <:)))>

Anonymous
Wed, 12/15/2010 - 16:54

and I thought you were joking till I looked it up on the BBC weather news.

Anonymous
Thu, 12/16/2010 - 18:48

OK. Tried to phone Exodus tonight, but they were shut. What happens if this forecasted snow arrives on Friday and the bus cannot get me (us)  to Heathrow on time on Saturday ???

Tone <:)))>,

Anonymous
Fri, 12/17/2010 - 07:54

In a word....

Anonymous
Sat, 12/18/2010 - 17:49

I'm sure I'm not the only one affected by this but I struggled to get to Heathrow today only to find all BMI flights had been cancelled (I was on the group flight). Now back home in Fulham but trying to figure out what I do next??! No one picking up the phones at Exodus and the person I spoke to at the out of hours number could only suggest I try and re-book my flight directly with BMI. Of course, they're not picking up the phone either. Any ideas? I've been so looking forward to this holiday but I have no idea when Heathrow is going to be up and running again and how will the trip accommodate us if we're all struggling to fly into Syria from different parts of the country / world? Please tell me I'm not the only one who's been grounded by the snow.....?

Anonymous
Sat, 12/18/2010 - 18:07

Well and truely!!!

We went to Heathrow, sat in the Costa for 3 hours and then came home again.  Not the outing we had hoped for. But I did manage to speak to two people at Exodus, and the news in grim. Not surprisingly flights are fully booked at this time of year.  But we can hope that some poor devils are stranded elsewhere (Aberdeen, NI..) and there will be cancellations enough for Exodus to book us Sunday or possibly Monday.  But Exodus will have to do it for those of us on the group flight.  My experience is they will do their best, but we are heading down the supermarket to but stay-at-home supplies... Keep checking and share any news.

Anonymous
Sat, 12/18/2010 - 21:46

I caught a taxi and train from Cardiff on Friday night.  Just as well, as the M4 was impassable on Saturday.  Stayed in Southall and struggled to get to Heathrow, after avidly viewing BMI's website and (after 6 tries) getting through to Rebecca in Exodus who said I HAD to get to LHR.  To be told at LHR that check-in was not taking place and to have a coffee. Then heard Heathrow was closed and then no more flights that day.

Got public transport back my friend's in Southall, ironically, it had stopped snowing.  I phoned Exodus several more times and got through to a very pleasant "Jim", who asked me to re-book. I stated that I'd paid Exodus 1800 quid to do that for me, as when I phoned the 0844 8484 888 BMI number all I got was "We are extremely busy and cannot take your call". Jim said he would a0 try his best to rebook me on a BMI flight on Sunday or Monday or b) try to book me on an alternate airline ( Istated he would need to book the WHOLE group of 18, or c) I (we) would get a full refund, as there was no point in joining the tour after Tuesday.

I've phoned again and left messages, including my mobile number, hoping that SOMEONE will contact me.  When an airline has your mobile no. they text you, why hasn't Exodus ? (tho I do sympathise that they have been inundated today). I await Jim to ring me back. When do we give up hope Group ?

Tone <:)))><

Cardiff

Anonymous
Sat, 12/18/2010 - 22:01

Thanks for getting back on this guys. I totally agree - Exodus booked us all onto the group flight so it should be their responsibility to sort out an alternative for us. I was expecting them to call, or at the very least text everyone who was due to fly out today to let us know what's going on. I've no idea what the weather is going to do overnight / tomorrow but, right now, I'm not feeling very positive. It's the busiest time of year for air travel and the backlog of flights is going to be immense - even if they manage to get the runways cleared by tomorrow morning. And, as Tone rightly said, at some point, it's not going to be feasible to run the trip any more as the logistics will just be a complete nightmare. I suspect that, if they can't get us on alternative flights by Mon, Exodus may have no option but to cancel the trip and offer us a refund :-( Still no answer from BMI, surprise surprise! Will try again first thing and pass on any new I have. I've found red wine to be a bg help this evening!  

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 08:22

Just watched the news and checked online and it appears Heathrow will be pretty much shut down for another day - no arrivals and only a handful of flights departing (not ours, in case you were wondering...) The BMI website doesn't offer much hope either and just says that all today's flights are cancelled. No mention of yesterday's backlog. Will try calling BMI again now but I'm not expecting much. I suspect our only option is to speak to Exodus when they open up again tomorrow but, right now, I don't think it's looking like our much longed for Christmas trip wil be taking place.  

Anonymous

Hi, I was on another trip, but just to let you know I got through to Exodus out of hours and apparently the office will be open 10-4 today because of the situation. So you could check with them later...

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 08:41

Great - thanks for letting me know Louise!

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 08:55

Looks like we will be travelling next Xmas!  I'm sure we will all try to call the Ops people at 10, so if anyone gets through, can you suggest, politely, that they use this area to help keep us informed? Or a text just to say what they are trying to do would help..

 

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 09:08

Yep, very sensible suggestion! Good luck getting through everyone and lets hope we see an update here shortly.....

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 09:43

BMi web site shows availability on Monday and Tuesday.  What have Exodus got to say??

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 10:54

....and spoke to a nice guy called Andrew Appleyard. Unfortunately, it's been no easier for them to get info from BMI than it has for us so he still doesn't know what the situation is. He confirmed there were 12 of us booked on yesterday's group flight ie, 75% of the trip, so it looks increasingy likely that they may have no option but to cancel the trip completely. Unless they can get us on a flight tomorrow, of course. But he told me that once they're faced with a delay of 48 hours or so, it just becomes logistically impossible for trips to run. He has my number and will call me back once he has news. I know the lines are busy but keep trying to get through so they can at least take your number and get back in touch later on today. He told me they're frantically trying to get more staff into the office as we speak....

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 14:02

I just spoke to the same nice guy, Andrew Appleby. but he talked to me as if he hadn't had the conversation with you Dunlnic.  he agreed there were 18 people on the tour, and that we needed to know. took my no. (again) and promised to ring me back within  20 mins, that was an hour ago.

With two days backlog and the priority being for familes needing to go home for Christmas, I cannot see how we can get 18 seats by Wednesday even. Andrew said we could still have 95% of the tour. with me being on a friend's settee for the 3rd night, I need to know whether I am slugging it out, or buying a train ticket back to Cardiff.  out of courtesy, we should all, at least get texts and updates.

 These forums tend to close down at the end of their month, so feel free to take my email address, if you wnat to stay in touch re: compensation or full refund.  tone_cardiff@hotmail.com

Worriedly,

Tone <><

 

Tone <:)))>

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 16:14

The two of us were successfully rebooked onto an Air France flight to Damascus via Paris this morning with a fall back of tomorrow's (20th) BMI flight.   The Air France flight did not go, of course.   We are still being shown as being booked on the BMI flight tomorrow on BMI's "manage your booking" web facility.  It is listed as a flight that has NOT already been cancelled tomorrow, but we are at present prevented from being able to check-in electronically, despite being within 24 hours of departure.

If we do go to Heathrow tomorrow, it will be more in hope than expectation.

We have been unable to raise Exodus today.  We have a concern that someone may try to meet us on the Air France Paris-Damascus flight (which was not cancelled) and have tried to leave messages at Exodus (and call the Lebanese British) to stop this happening.

We also have a concern that if we do get on the flight and are unable to contact anyone, arranging to get to a sensible hotel at 2300hrs in Damascus may be easier said than done.  We also have concerns over whether the visa will work now it is no longer a group flight.

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 16:48

Sounds very imaginative, but I'm pretty sure you will not ne able to board without a Syrian visa, and the group visa will not work.  As regards meeting up with the guide etc, Exodus have to do the arrangements.  I have had no luck calling, and no one has called me.  This is not good Exodus.  Any contact would have been welcome, none is bad business. But unless we can get underway Monday, there is little point in the trip.  We didn't sign up for a whistle stop tour, ticking off sights. 

You can reach me at tallship@eircom.net

 

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 17:04

Just spoke to the Emergency line, who say I should re-book with the airline myself.  Or, since the holiday has been delayed by more than 12 hours, I can claim a refund or re-book for later.  But that can only happen after they open on Monday morning.

 Good luck if you try to travel.  I'll look forward to the feedback

Anonymous
Sun, 12/19/2010 - 17:10

Hi. I have now arrived back at my house after waiting in Copenhagen airport for 36 hours. Its chaos...but you know that! I was supposed to join the rest of you in Heathrow yesterday. Its very unsure when I'll be able to get anywhere and I must admit that having a shorter trip than planned is not what I had been looking forward to.

 Talked to Exodus yesterday and the guy mentioned that after a delay of more than 12 hours, they would be an option of a full refund. Have not been able to get in touch with Exodus today. Will try first thing tomorrow.

After hours and hours and hours....... of waiting in very long lines at the airport my motivation for the trip, though, is decreasing.

Just thought that I would let you know about my experiences so far!

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 11:46

I just spoke to Chloe at Exodus who confirmed they wouldn't be able to get me (us) on another fight to Damascus for a couple of days. So, they're going to send everyone an email with the offer of a full refund or rebooking us onto the trip at another date. Obviously, people will need to think about what they want to do so I believe they're going to give us until the beginning of Jan to make our minds up. All deperately disappointing but at least we know where we stand now! Chloe has been on this trip herself and says it's totally amazing so I'm determined to get there at some point in 2011! Such a shame I won't be able to meet up with you guys now but I hope you all manage to have a great Christmas and new Year anyway :-)

Nic 

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 13:46

As above, and we've re-booked for next Christmas.  This is the third time this year I have had travels cancelled by the the airline, Jan snow stopped me getting to Havana, then ash stopped me again in April.  Now snow again, and I'm booked for Havana in mid Jan.  Any odds on my getting away?

Enjoy your unscheduled break.

Anonymous
Mon, 12/20/2010 - 20:48

It's nice to be home. Chloe also phoned me as I was catching the train home. I accepted the full refund, but, sadly cannot go next year, as I don't know the dates, and being a teacher have no flexibility. Though I am attending a wedding on Dec 17th 2011.

There were conflicting pieces of advice: "Re-book yourself" , which I notice "rhmole" did, very entrepreneurial, but that then negated the GROUP VISA for Syria, so NONE of us could've entered Syria. "Wait for Exodus to book us all", that wouldn't be a possibility until Wed or Thurs, the way the backlogs were building up. So "Cancel and take a full refund" was the only logical possibility, which I did Sunday afternoon, caught a train home to Cardiff this afternoon, and whilst disappointed, am quite content and relieved, though I had emptied the house of food for the holiday.

Nadolig Hapus / Happy Christmas - fellow travellers and friends who never were.

Tone <:)))>

Anonymous
Tue, 12/21/2010 - 17:53

Just heard on the BBC News that BAA refused Government and Army help to clear the runways as BAA was "coping" !!!!!  It's BAA's fault, not Exodus's.

Tone <:)))><

Anonymous
Thu, 12/23/2010 - 10:22

Hiya. So it wasn't just me who couldn't go!! As Tone, Im a teacher, so getting another trip to fit in with the holiday dates can be difficult. But will deffinately try.....

The wind is howling and its still snowing here in Denmark.

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all.

Maria

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