We have just returned from a day in Baalbek. Internet access is down, so I am writing this to debrief myself. I have always wanted to go to Baalbek as it is an iconic place in Lebanon. I didn't know much about what was there, except for the fact that I would find a well preserved Roman temple. It was a very Lebanese experience! The army had come in and shut down the whole place in preparation for a visit to the Baalbek festival by the President, the Prime Minister and several other dignitaries. We found ourselves pleading our case with those in charge. We then gained the concession of being allowed to join a group of French tourists who were being looked after by a well-connected guide. The guide was very knowledgeable. He conducted the tour entirely in French. The temples I learned that the first temple was built by the Phoenecians. It was dedicated to Baal. Bek came from the name of the location, the Bekaa valley. The Romans then transformed it into the largest temple dedicated t
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