Breathtaking Baalbek: Wandering the Ruins of the Ancient World

Baalbek is one of the world’s largest and best preserved Roman sites, christened Heliopolis, or City of the Sun, by the ancient Greeks. The city itself is situated in the fertile Bekaa Valley almost exactly in between Beirut and Damascus, and is famous not only for its spectacular ruins, but also as the headquarters of Hezbollah.The site has been continuously inhabited for over 9000 years, with constant building and rebuilding under the Temple of Jupiter.

Rated one of the 10 best Roman sites outside of Rome, Baalbek is well worth a visit – or even two.

A few days before Christmas in the Bekaa Valley and the mountains are capped with snow

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Adventures in the Valley of the Saints

Stalactites and Stalagmites… and bedbugs

The Qadisha Valley in Northern Lebanon is often referred to as the Valley of the Saints, due to its enormous concentration of monasteries and hermitages, some of which date back to the 4th century AD. It is an area of outstanding natural beauty, the valley itself rising steeply upwards from the river, its lower slopes covered in pine forests, fringed with a high rocky cliff above which small towns perch precariously on the edge of the deep gorge. Above these rise Lebanon’s highest peaks, reaching heights of 3000m above sea level.

On our first trip to the valley Everitte and I took a minibus from Tripoli to Bsharry, the birthplace of the famous Lebanese artist, poet and writer Khalil Gibran. With a population of 13,000 Bsharry is one of the biggest towns in the Qadisha valley, Continue reading