03-Feb-2004 -- During our extended `Īdu-l-Aḍḥā holidays of January/February 2004 to Syria, we combined the on-road tour of the archaeologically and culturally rich country with visits to six Confluences (33N 36E, 34N 37E, 36N 39E, 36N 38E, 36N 37E and 35N 37E).
After successfully visiting the Confluence at 36N 37E, we decided to visit the famous wooden water wheels of Ḥamā. We arrived in Ḥamā, which is situated along the Orontes River and boasts 17 wooden water wheels (known as the Norias) that once scooped water from the river and deposited it into the aqueducts, which then supplied homes, public buildings and farms. These wheels are about 20 meters in diameter and still turn today, although their water is not used.
We visited the norias situated in the town centre and the four norias located about 1 kilometre up-river from the town centre. The largest noria is known as al-Muḥammadiyya.
After a good lunch
, we found the road heading towards Salamiyya. Our Confluence was about 5 km from the village of Salamiyya. The Confluence was just beyond an agricultural research centre; we took the track leading towards the centre and were promptly stopped at the gates by a security personnel. After a lengthy explanation and after producing the explanation letter (in Arabic) about the Degree Confluence Project, the security man allowed us in to our surprise, but we had to park the car at the entrance and walk the rest of the way, ensuring we did not cross their research fields. After a long walk, we managed to circumvent the research fields and found the Confluence to be on an unused farm land. After the visit, we tracked back all the way. We had a good long chat with the security personnel, who showed us a couple of gazelles they kept in the centre.
We counted ourselves once again lucky to have visited the Confluence.