Bqerzla- Baalbek (Part 1)

Last weekend we took some time to visit Lebanon. For three days we travelled around the country by car, thanks to Friedrich which organized this trip and was our guide. We left home on Saturday morning, in direction to the Lebanon Mountains, which can be seen from Bqerzla. Our first stop was in the ruins of the old monastery of Saint George and Saint Daniel, close to Qoubaiyat. What is curious there is that there are two churches next to each other, it is not known with what purpose. Few kilometers after we entered the Bekaa region, mainly were mainly Shia Muslims live. Among the Christians, the Greek Catholic are the majority. The shia has historically been the poorest group of the country, and we could feel that something was different: people looked more at us, the houses were more simple.

The road goes across the mountains until arriving to the Bekaa valley, at the end of which in clear days you can see Homs. We continued to the South through the valley, between the Lebanon Mountains that we had just crossed at the West and the Anti-Lebanon Mountains at the East. These constitute a natural border with Syria. In the villages we passed by, we often saw portraits of ‘martyrs’ who have recently died in the Syrian war. One of the biggest towns in the valley is Hermel, where we could see an ancient pyramid from the  1st century BC. In the afternoon we arrived to Baalbek, the native town of Saint Barbara, very venerated in Lebanon. There we visited the Heliopolis, the ruins of the temples of Jupiter, Bacchus and Venus. It was a roman construction that later became a Christian basilica and a mosque.

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