Lebanon    Nov. 6 to Nov. 13, 1974

Most of all my study for this trip back in Hawaii was the great Egyptian Civilization. What I did not count on were the Ruins at Baalbek Lebanon.  Beirut is very mixed up an in some turmoil. I had heard about problems with all the religious groups here i.e. the Muslims, Christians and Jews. It became pretty clear there was going to be trouble; two Israeli’s jet bombed and strafed PLO positions and the Muslims and Christians were trading shots at each other and an omen as to what was to come. Byblos, Tyre and

Baalbek was unexpected because the ruin there are magnificent. 

Baalbek Ref: Lonley Planet

Baalbek, 86km (53mi) northeast of Beirut, was originally named after the Phoenician god Baal. The town was renamed Heliopolis by the Greeks and still later it was made a centre of Jupiter worship by the Romans. During its Roman era, Baalbek was the premier city in Roman Syria. In more recent times, the anti-Western Islamic fundamentalist Hezbollah made its headquarters here, and the town has only reopened to tourists in recent years. The modern town is very small, but its Roman ruins are probably the best archaeological site in the country.

Baalbek's temple complex is one of the largest in the world. The complex is about 300m (984ft) long and has two temples with porticoes, two courtyards and an enclosure built during the Arab period. The Temple of Jupiter, completed around AD 60, is on a high platform at the top of a monumental staircase; only six of its colossal columns (22m/72ft) remain with the architrave still in position, giving an idea of the vast scale of the original building. The nearby Temple of Bacchus, built around AD 150, is well preserved. Outside the main area is a tiny, exquisite Temple of Venus, a gorgeous circular building with fluted columns.