Palmyra

 

We timed our departure from Homs to coincide with the cooler part of the day. Cooler is relative, though, as it was still well into the 30's C when we left at around 4:30 PM. Palmyra is right in the middle of Syria, a few hundred kilometres from the Iraqi border, which we roughly followed on the way to Damascus a few days later. The closest we ever got was about 160 kilometres, which was plenty.

 

 

When we arrived in Palmyra, an enthusiastic hotelier ran across the road to persuade us to stay at his place. Since we were in sight of the Palmyra ruins, we took his offer, unloaded the bikes and rode off to catch the best pictures in the evening sunset. We would have been able to ride pretty much into the middle of it all, but parked on the edge of the site.  

 

 

At the end of our first photo shoot, we rode to the citadel, a few kilometres away, to catch the sunset.

 

 

On day 2 we took it easy, as the temperature here in the middle of the country was around the 40 C mark, hitting 41 C a day earlier. Basically nobody moves between 10 am and 2 pm, as it is just too hot. I woke up the sole occupant of the post office, clearly to his annoyance, to mail a letter. Sleeping (literally) on the job seems to be acceptable here. It seems only insane tourists move around during the heat of the day.

 

Later in the evening we ventured out to the other end of Palmyra, where there are more ruins and more intact structures. The pictures speak for themselves.

 

 

 

 

We only saw a handful of people who were just leaving one of the main sites, so we had the place to ourselves.

 

 

This time we were in time to catch the sun setting over the site from the back of the citadel.