Friday, November 6, 2009

Baghdad Palace Tour

[caption id="attachment_772" align="left" width="450" caption="Ornate Ceiling of Saddams Victory Over America palace"]Ornate Ceiling of Saddam's "Victory Over America" palace[/caption] A couple of weeks ago, right after I got to Iraq this time, I had to go up to Baghdad for a conference, and change of command. While I was there, we got to play tourist for a couple of hours. A couple of times a week, the Army public affairs conducts tours of some of Saddam Hussien's palaces. We got to see a couple of examples of the aftermath of American Military firepower, during our walks through the "Victory Over America" palace, and the Baath Party House.

IMG_3674p.jpg We took buses to the palace, then probably about 200 people made our way up the hill and inside for the tour. All told, we were probably in (what was left of) the palace for about 90 minutes.

I was actually surprised we were even able to walk through the place, as the destruction was pretty impressive:

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This is the main ballroom of the palace ... or at least what was left of it.

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And this is over along a wall, where one of the bombs actually hit.

After walking around for a while trying not to trip over any boards, we were able to stop for a bit of fun taking pictures of ourselves.IMG_3689f.jpg These two guys in the picture to the left are people that I used to work with in Hawaii ... so in addition to seeing some sights, I also had a bit of a reunion in Baghdad.

Then it was finally time to head up the stairs to the roof ...

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This is one of my favorite pictures from the day.

I took a few more nice pictures from up on the roof. However, I think this post starting to run a bit long, so I'll just plan to do another one tomorrow with pictures from the roof overlooking Baghdad. And possibly even one more the next day for the Baath Party House.

If you like the pictures, be sure to come back again this weekend.

See you then,
Todd

p.s. I also have quite a few pictures from the Ziggeraut of Ur (which is right outside my base). I haven't had the chance to finish the post-processing on all of those yet, so it may be another week or so before I can get those pics up.

6 comments:

  1. Great Pics Todd. I like the one of the stairs as well. Stay safe and look forward to more of your posts.
    .-= Marketing Ideas´s last blog ..Monster Energy Drinks Marketing Idea and Strategy is Flawed =-.

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  2. Hi Josh,

    Yes I have more pictures are coming ... probably in the morning when I get up to call my wife. One of these days, I may even get back in the grove of putting writing some regular posts, and getting out to comment on a few blogs ... I have found the time to read most of my friend's latest posts, but it's usually from work in my feed reader ... which means I can't comment. Then when I get home, all I want to do lately is read and sleep.

    lol, it's tough to be a "blogger" who doesn't make finding time to write a priority :-)

    Todd

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  3. Very cool pics. Thanks for taking the time to share.

    Glad to hear from you!

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  4. You have the makings of a great travel to Iraq site here :-) The last photo is my favourite too. What do you do with "post processing" - I just usually throw mine straight up - and it probably shows :-)

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  5. Hi Lissie,

    Well a couple years back I plopped down a couple hundred bucks for the full version of Adobe Photoshop. On most of my pictures I just adjust the levels and do a bit of sharpening. But occasionally I can spend an hour or two on one picture. I'm not even close to being a PS "expert", but I think from time to time a few of the skills I've picked up can make a difference. Even back in the days of film and chemical development, actually taking the shot was only a small part of getting a "great" picture. The real magic happened in the dark room ... which now-a-days is more often than not a computer screen.

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  6. I have a nephew in Iraq that just posted pics on his Facebook and this palace was behind him and labeled as "Victory over America Palace" and I am sad to say I wasnt aware of the history behind it. So I decided to google it and your website came up with info re this palace. So I want to say thanx for the pics and the info.

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