The Al Faw Palace Complex in Baghdad is located within the boundaries of Victory Base. It is a sprawling compound Saddam began building during the Iran Iraq War. Building went on until 2003 when American bombs began to fall. Man-made lakes surround all the palaces and villas, adding a tranquil, surreal feeling to the artificial landscape. The Al Faw Palace is used as division headquarters. It is across from the JVB (Joint Visitors Bureau Hotel) where I am staying once again. Visitors hit golf balls from the veranda out toward the palace, occasionally hitting the bulletproof windows. I have yet to go on a tour of the Al Faw Palace but did make an unscheduled visit and got to see the massive chandelier in the foyer. I went on the weekly Sunday of the Victory Over America Palace (left unfinished) and the Batthe Party house and got a welcome history lesson on the palace complex.
My favorite part of the complex is Flintstone Village, which is across the lake from the Victory Over America Palace. Saddam Hussein was a big fan of the Flintstones and had the complex modeled after the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, for his grandchildren to play in equipped with miniature golf coarse and elevators. Saddam commissioned the life-sized playground was after having his daughter’s husbands killed.. The sons in law, made the mistake of criticizing his regime and then returning to Baghdad after being in exile, accepting an invite from Saddam who asurred them all was forgiven. Flintstone Village was meant to be a gift meant to take thier minds off thier murdered fathers
Today, the Village's remains are another spot where the military leaves their mark in the way of graffiti. There are still patches of astro turf and a great view of the ruins of the Victoy Over America Palace, that I will post pictures of in my next entry.