THE SYRIAN SERIES, DAY 9&10
DAMASCUS–BALBEEK – BEIRUT – LONDON – BELFAST
The worst driver and Baalbek. After a quick goodbye to Khaldoun and the people at the hotel it was back to Lebanon where I would be visiting Baalbek on the way.
PEOPLE WERE FLIPPING MY DRIVER OFF LEFT RIGHT AND CENTRE!
I was picked up by the same driver for my trip to the Lebanese border and then transferred into another car for my Lebanon leg.
WHERE IS BAALBEK?
However, this was not the same driver as below and he without doubt hadn’t a care in the world. I’ve had my fair share of taxi drivers around the world and most are great but you get some which are fairly risk adverse but I can appreciate that some countries are worse than others. However there weren’t many other drivers who approved of his antics on the road! He was one of those drivers who took all the risk but never got anywhere.
- HOTEL – Lancaster Tamar, £60
- RESTAURANT – T-Marbouta, Beirut
- FOOD – Tawook & Shawarma
- ATTRACTIONS –
Also known as Heliopolis (Greek for Sun City), Baalbek fortunately didn’t suffer as a result of the conflict in neighbouring Syria and is just as impressive as anything I have seen over the past few weeks. Back to incredible numbers, there are signs that the area has been continually inhabitated over the last 8,000 years. The city is home to two of the largest Roman Temple Ruins; Bacchus and Jupiter as well as the largest coloumns in the world; 27metres.
DAILY TRAVEL STATS….
- Steps – 9,200 & 11,600
- Number of flights – 2
- Flight itinerary –
MEA – 07:35 – 10:35
Aer Lingus – 15:00 – 16:00
- Miles covered – 3368.8m
I love bricks and mortar, it’s my job but just 2 minutes from Baalbek I seen something incredible. This was the quarry used to manufacture the building blocks used to create the nearby temples. However one rather large rock still remains and at 1,240 tons is the largest manmade rock in the world. It will be no surprise that the rock which dates back to 27BC was believed to be too big to move.
After another hectic drive, this time watching my driver facetime his friend while weaving in and out of traffic I arrived at Lancaster Tamar hotel and headed to T-Marbouta for the last meal.
DINNER EXCHANGE RATES
I tend to use my dinner time to write up my diary and do others things I wouldn’t get time for, but 5 minutes in I was approached my another foreigner. It turns out he was the other tourist back in Palmyra the same time as I was there, small world! He is incredibly well travelled, he runs a travel company in Russia which offers up unique destinations to visit. We spent the next few hours talking about a lot, even the involvement of Russia in the conflict which makes the war even more complicated!
I have never been so confused getting the bill. There were two currencies, one which was the local and worked out at around £15 and the other in dollars which worked out at £70. Completely bizarre but with a volatile market they continue to maintain their historic exchange rates.
The worst driver and Baalbek
- Baalbek is home to the largest ever Roman temple and a range of other magnificent ancient structures.
- UNESCO describes the site as “one of the most famous sanctuaries of the Roman world and a model of Imperial Roman architecture.”
- Baalbek was a sacred site long before the Romans came.
The worst driver and Baalbek
- HIGHLIGHT – Baalbek
- LOWLIGHT – The drive
- LVP – Lebanon driver
What a trip this was and I’ll be the first to say that although the conflict might be over, the war itself is far from finished.
The reflection post. Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Have you been to Lebanon?
- Worst driver experience?
Let me know in the comments below . . .