Baalbek, Lebanon

Wow. It’s a testament to the grandeur of Baalbek that despite being soaked to the bone in 40 degree weather, every photo of myself shows me grinning like a schoolboy.

I absolutely loved this place. The Temple of Jupiter completely dwarfs the Parthenon in Greece, and the scope of this site was far beyond what I had imagined. The first thought that struck my mind is the gargantuan nature of everything. The doorways here could easily accomodate giants, the pillars reach to the sky, and the foundation stones are of such massive size and weight that the mind reels contemplating the methods used to position them. Known as Heliopolis, or “City of the Sun” to the Greeks and Romans, Baalbek was originally the site of a Phoenician temple to their god Baal. During its period of Roman occupation it reached its zenithg regarding aesthetic appeal and size: its proportions are monstrous. We then walked one soggy, cold kilometer to see the so-called “Stone of the South,” an absurdly large dressed stone that is estimated to weight upwards of 1500 tons. wow. The unfortunate part? Baalbek is in Lebanon, and just so happens to be the birthplace of Hezbollah, a, depending on who you talk to, terrorist organization.