Baalbek is a couple of hour drive from Beirut. It has a very ancient history. You drive out of Beirut at (Mediterranean) sea level and climb quickly over the mountains reaching a high point of 1500 meters. Then you head down into the Beqaa Valley at around 1000 meters and proceed to Baalbek which sits at around 1200 meters. Baalbek is named after Baal the Phoenician Sun God. We arrived there at sunset and I took a rapid tour of the site in the fading light. Some of the largest ever building stones are in the site.
You can also see Machgara at the bottom of the map where we visited. More on that in future postings.