Welcome to Space

The Space has always been my greatest fascination. The endless dimension where you can let your soul float and your mind wonder about this great secret. This site is for my personal general interests and not limited to Space. The name is a tribute to the wonders of Space. Izzat Sajdi

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Agatha Christie at ... Room 203 Baron Hotel in Allepo

Allepo ... 10:30 pm on the 19th Dec 2008.

The receptionist gave me the keys to room 203. As I climbed the stairs, my heart was beating with excitement, thrill and fear. I entered the room, and what a feeling. A very different life experience. Why not, for this is Agatha Christie's room ... where she stayed at the Baron Hotel in Allepo and wrote "Murder on the Orient Express" back in 1934.

Room 203: the Agatha Christie room.

You could imagine the English lady seated on the Thonet chair at the dark dressing-table with its bevelled mirrors, its fine marquetry, and its gold-handled drawers. These are the original furnishings from the 1920s.

The 2nd floor of the Hotel Baron is a journey through the history of the 20th century: Lawrence of Arabia slept in Room 202; from the balcony in Room 215, King Faisal declared Syria's independence. The Presidential Suite was occupied in turn by Sweden's King Gustaf Adolf, Egypt's Jamal Abdel Nasser, Syria's former President Hafiz Al Assad, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan (the founder of the United Arab Emirates), and the American billionaire David Rockefeller.

In the main dining room on the ground floor, the Hotel Baron once held lavish banquets in their honour. Today, the guests have their breakfast here, surrounded by wood-panelled walls, massive double doors, crooked lampshades, and ceramic tiles of green, beige and brown. It's the details that make the Baron so unique: the chunky, grass-green telephone system at the reception; T.E. Lawrence's, Lawrence of Arabia's, bill framed and displayed in the lounge.
In 1909, amongst the gardens on the outskirts of Aleppo, the Mazloumian family built the first floor of the current building; the second floor followed in 1911, and the third in 1940. In recent years, this top storey has been thoroughly renovated and modernised.
Agatha Christie trilled a cheery "Good morning!" every day as she descended the broad staircase on her way to the terrace; there, she sipped tea while writing "Murder on the Orient Express".

It was an exceptional unforgettable night in Room 203 at the Baron Hotel in Allepo.