That bare rocky rise northwest of the city, Jebel Qassioun, provides a useful orientation tool. It's from the top of this mount that Mohammed is said to have looked down on Damascus and made the observation that opened this chapter. The distinctly urban view today is hardly one of paradise, but it looks stunning at dusk, when the city lights up. There is no public transport to the popular viewing points, so hire a taxi and negotiate for the driver to wait.