A roman city in the desert : PALMYRA


The remains of Palmyra as we discovered them !


On the road to Palmyra
That morning we felt Deir-ez-Zor on the Euphrates and headed West again. Opening your bedroom curtains and seeing this majestuous river run before you was quite something. On the way to Palmyra, we reached the 45,000 km mark or once round the world !


Time for a refuel as there are few towns in the desert (left), the Euphrates at sunset (centre), local children adding a few lines on the side of Troopie (right)



The Zenobia Hotel (left), on the desert to Palmyra road (centre), dates are one of the local expensive specialty (right)


The Zenobia hotel, built at a time when you could still get a few columns from the site to add to you reception hall, was run by an eccentric lady. The hotel is right in the midst of the ruins ! The weather was sunny but quite cold when we got there. We made the mistake of not visiting the site believing that it would still be sunny the day after... Instead we had lunch on the terrace of the hotel enjoying a most magnificent view.


Kathleen and Christian's dad enjoying the sun and the view of Palmyra's ruins


The next day it was raining. It proved the be the only day of rain during the 2 week visit of Christian's parents ! We visited the museum (it was a good idea to visit the museum before visiting the ruins) and the huge temple of Baal. To keep stones together, the architects of the Temple of Baal used lead and bronze. This was subsequently removed by invaders to be used for weapons. As a result the walls are covered with regular large holes giving it a very strange appearance.


Marble sculpture decorating sarcophagi (left & right), Kathleen in front of the Temple of Baal (centre)


Hoping to see the ruins of Palmyra with the soft light of sunrise, we had put our alarm clock at 5 am that day, only to see the rain. Not so the next day when we were blessed with a beautiful sunrise. After having visited some ruins we took the car to have a closer look at a dates tree. To our surprise, we were greeted by the caretaker and invited for tea. The man and Christian's father exchanged cigarettes and tea was drunk. Very little was said and no pictures were taken but all of us have kept a vivid memory of this priceless gesture of hospitality.


Palmyra's stunning colonnaded streets



One of the 4 tetrapylons (left), the marble steps of the amphitheater (centre) and a view from the Arab castle in the distance (right)


Views from the city : the colonnaded street (left), the unrestored marble steps of the Palace of Zenobia (centre) and the funerary temple (right)


There's one more column standing up !


We are doing well !

Km 45,000 Back to Trip page Heading to Jordan