Last weekend once again we decided to take advantage of the sun and head down south for the day. The restaurant we had discovered on a previous trip to Tyre with my family was so lovely, perched by a lighthouse and practically in the Mediterranean, that Alex, Renko, Everitte and I decided it was worth the 5 hours of travel time in rickety old service taxis to go there for an open air lunch.
The wind was unfortunately both strong and cold, so we had a very wind-swept lunch wrapped up in our coats and scarves, but it was still lovely to be able to eat out in the sunshine in early February.
I went paddling in the sea, where Roman columns have been left casually lying among the rocks, and in the space of ten minutes I found three pieces of old worn mosaic, just lying on the seabed under a foot or two of clear water.
After lunch we went for a wander around the Christian quarter and the old souq, and then made out way to the biggest of Tyre’s three Roman sites. As we walked Renko was talking about how visiting Roman hippodromes was always a waste of time, as there was never anything there except a big field with a few rocks in it.
Gradually he convinced us that we were about to be sorely disappointed, so when we arrived to find the world’s largest and best preserved hippodrome, which one seated 20,000 people we were amazed and delighted. Or in Renko’s case slightly miffed.
We started out from the back entrance and so approached the ruins along a beautiful paved Roman road, towards a huge, beautifully preserved archway which marked the entrance to the stands of the hippodrome.
Among the ruins were a couple of ponds which appeared to be a temporary result of the recent weeks of heavy rain. The sound of hundreds of frogs croaking together was almost loud enough to drown out of voices – I such no idea such tiny frogs could make such a racket. Just near the main path we came across one, tiny and such a vivid green it was almost neon. Seeing Everitte’s jacket which was almost exactly the same hue it obviously thought it had found the perfect patch of frog camouflage and made its way first onto his outstretched hand and then onto the shoulder of his coat, where it sat contentedly for some minutes before leaping off into some long grass.
I leave you with that example of my mathematical skills. I can tell you are impressed.