Roman Temples in a Snowstorm

Trip Start Sep 28, 2010
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Jupiter Hotel

Flag of Lebanon  ,
Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We arrived in Baalbek on Tuesday (now thursday), planning to stay for 1 night to see the roman ruins, well it's now Thursday and we’re still here. Tuesday afternoon was miserable and wet so we spent the afternoon splashing our way around town trying not to step in the deepest of puddles going from shwarma shop to baklava shop before retiring to our chilly room for a movie under the covers. Wednesday morning was even worse, still cold, still raining and now sleeting; we hid in a coffee shop until midday waiting for the rain to end….we were toying with the idea of canning the ruins and heading back to Beirut but we persisted. We used the down time to catch up on some reading and internet. Thursday was go day, we were determined to see the ruins rain, hail or snowstorm…..we got the latter. We made it halfway to the ticket office …about 50 metres before turning back and taking refuge back in the hotel foyer where we are now snuggled around a heater…..the only question that remains is what now. They tell us that they close the road back to Beirut when it snows so I guess we’ll just have to see what happens. I have never really see snow fall before and I’m loving it, I really think the ruins will look spectacular covered in snow….even more perfect with a blue sky backdrop.

Later in the morning we made it back to the ruins and they were worth the wait. The Temple of Jupiter is the largest Roman temple ever built and the six columns that are still standing are truly enormous. The temple is approached through a series a series of increasingly grand collonaded courtyards, and while only portions of the buildings remain you can get a strong sense of what it used to feel like. Off to one side is another temple in amazingly good condition, and while not as big as the main temple it is just as awe-inspiring. The very impressive atmosphere of the ruins was made rather special by the fact that everything was covered in snow (including us!). All of the ornately carved column capitals and porticos had snow clinging to them, the snow was falling heavily and being swirled around in every direction by the wind, and we were the only ones in the whole site. Aside from the fact that we couldn't feel our feet it was quite magical.
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Laura on

It's working... dying with jealousy here!

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