Day 4 Palmyra & Crac des Chevaliers
We started our drive to Palmyra at 7am through fairly undramatic desert landscape with beautiful pale browns and fawn colours. There aren’t many Bedouin around because they’ve moved their flocks onto the winter grass in the mountains.
After a quick Arabic coffee stop at the Baghdad Café, owned by two Bedouin brothers we got to Palmyra at 1pm and started our tour at the superb Temple of Bel.
The main triumphal arch, colonnades and shops are in excellent condition but the statuary has been moved to museums to keep them safe.
The pillars are finely carved and very impressive. The bath house was also in good condition but no longer has mosaics in situ.
We then drove 4 hours to Crac des Chevaliers and booked into the quirky Hotel Al-Wadir, built as a mock castle. It’s charming but has a lot of teething problems. The roof leaks, there’s not enough light in the massive bathroom and there’s broken glass in the balcony door. We also got stiffed changing money, as they attempted to short change us by 1,000 syp and only gave us the correct rate once challenged.