Syria 2005: Day 4 Palmyra and Crac des Chevaliers

Syrian Desert Berber Tent

Bedouin tent near Palmyra

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.

Palmyra (19)

Temple of Bel, Palmyra

 

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.

 

 

Palmyra tombs

Palmyra Christian tombs

Palmyra tombs 80 to 251 ADNext we went into the stunning Christian funerary towers and a wonderful underground tomb which had inscriptions at the door, advertising it for temporary hire or rent.

 

 

 

 

 

Palmyra (2)

Palmyra

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.

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