Entering Syria these days as a foreigner poses a serious risk and is hardly a recommended travel destination.
With over 300,000 estimated casualties since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, along with millions of others displaced, fleeing the country or left without sufficient food and drinking water, the war is the first and only thing that comes to mind these days when one thinks about Syria.
Back in April 2007, however, things were quite different. Foreigners were welcome in the country and hot air balloon teams were invited from all over the world to decorate the Syrian skies as part of the mayor of Homs’ birthday celebrations.
German balloon operator and photographer Michael Spar shared with us the photos from his once-in-a-lifetime trip to Syria, when instead of fighter jets and aerial strikes there were hot air balloons and aerial photos.