October 28, 2003
Let's (Not) Go
The first British tourists to visit Iraq since the war returned home this week and admitted they were lucky to have escaped with their lives.Not exactly Club Med, to be sure.
Christine Bailey, a member of the tour group and a keen archaeologist, said the two-week trip had taken them to Baghdad, Babylon and a host of historic sites, but there had been anxious moments.
"I felt very uneasy when we drove through bandit country on the road from Amman, Jordan, to Baghdad," she said, "and later in the northern city of Mosul when we passed a man being beaten to death with iron bars."
The tour was organised by Hinterland Travel and led by Geoff Hahn, an Iraq specialist who has been taking groups to the country for 30 years.From the Telegraph.
With the Foreign Office advising against all but the most essential travel to Iraq, the tourists - three Britons, an American, a Canadian and an Irish student, aged between 25 and 75 - knew the risks were high. . .
Mr Hahn said that, despite the tension, the group had been met with extraordinary friendliness by local people and that by and large they had not detected anti-Western or anti-British sentiment.
"People were very nice to us - and outside the hotspots, it was great to see them getting on with their lives," he said. "Although there were difficulties, the situation was not nearly as bad as some imagine."
Posted by David on October 28, 2003 1:27 PM