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Thursday, April 21, 2011


Tetrapylon in Palmyra Ruins
Monumental Arch by Temple of Bel
Palmyra Castle
Early Morning Self Potrait

April 13

The wind blew hard last night but by 5AM it was calm so we headed out to the ruins. The ruins here go back over 4000 years but most of what is visible is from roman times and cover hundreds of acres. The isolated area means you can wander through  the ruins without seeing anyone but maybe someone on camel back. Later in the day a tour group or two will bring in a few tourists but for the most part you are in your own private ruins. There is a large castle high on a hill to the north with great views. On the the south is the large Temple of Bael or sometimes spelled Bel. To the south of the temple is a large green oasis with many palm trees. The oasis is divided into large compounds with high walls on narrow streets. The small town of Palmyra is to the east of the ruins but in walking distance. The Valley of the Tombs is to the west With many freestanding square tombs the tallest which is four stories tall. There was a colonnade extending over one kilometer from the Temple of Bael to the northeast. The colonnade consisted of four rows of columns, many which are still standing and at one point make a 30 degree bend which has several great arches. The camel caravans went through the center of the columns and there was a walkway on both sides of this camel street between the two outside rows. Shops were located along these walkways. the columns had a horizontal ledge about 2/3eds of the way up that at one time held statues. It must have been a great town in those days.

After a couple hour in the the sun was too high for photography, headed back to hotel for breakfast. The rest of the day was spent driving around to see what else there was in the area. I had been to Palmyra twice before but never with a car and you can go only so far on foot when you only have a couple hours. In the late afternoon we drove to the Valley of Tombs to photograph there. Even though we were up an hour before sunrise we decided that tomorrow we would get out earlier tomorrow.
Tried to access the blog agin but still get the notice that it is "filtered".

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