Baalbeck & Qadisha Valley – Hiking, Ruins as well as wine

Day 3 of the road trip was full of walking….and more walking. We headed out early as well as drove up North to the Qadisha Valley, likewise understood as the most lovely area in the whole country, in my respectful opinion! We drove up as well as up along windy, twisting roads enjoying the sights along the way. It looked a bit like Switzerland with all the buildings, churches as well as houses developed right on the cliff sides. We stopped a few times to take some pictures.

the stunning Qadisha Valley, Lebanon

arriving at the lovely Qadisha Valley, Lebanon
We were trying to figure out precisely where to begin the hike when a guy pulled up next to us in a Volkswagen Beetle, minus the doors, windows as well as roof! The thing was hilarious, I don’t understand where he got it or why he’s driving it like that however it was quite cool, like a bit dune buggy. Anyways, we complied with him as well as he showed us where to go.

a super friendly regional in a hilarious vehicle, Qadisha Valley, Lebanon
After going up as well as up, it was time to go dooowwwn. We drove, extremely slowly, along the cliff side (with no rail guard or anything) up until we came about 1/2 method down the gorge. Parked the cars and truck as well as started the walk. It was beautiful, set totally in nature, only one restaurant the whole way. We stopped for a picnic lunch right along the rushing river, surrounded by pine trees as well as flowers. Sandwiches all around, oh, as well as a Snickers bar for dessert…of course. We brought on walking, stopping to take photos as well as look out over the valley down below. towards the end of the path we came upon a rock monastery cut out of the cliff side.  We walked around there for a bit as well as brought on to see a cave church as well.  Pretty neat. The walk was perfect, the scenery stunning as well as the temperature was just right. all of us had a excellent day as well as headed house after that.

looking down into the valley, Qadisha Valley, Lebanon
walking with the rich Qadisha Valley, Lebanon

heading down to the river for lunch, Qadisha Valley, Lebanon
a perfect area for a picnic lunch, Qadisha Valley, Lebanon

a fig tree, Qadisha Valley, Lebanon
views across the Qadisha Valley, Lebanon

Nick going in to the rock cut church, Qadisha Valley, Lebanon
inside the cave church, Qadisha Valley, Lebanon

The complying with day was the last day we had the cars and truck booked for. We headed out to the Bekka Valley to see the ruins of Baalbeck (also understood as the sun City in the ancient times). It’s one of the most impressive Roman sites in all of the middle East. There’s so much history here…settlement is believed to have dated back to 3000B.C. at first it was occupied by the Phoenicians, then Alexander the excellent conquered the City, complied with by Pompey the excellent in 64B.C. as well as then Julius Caesar desired a piece of this strategically positioned City as well as established a Roman colony right here in 47B.C. The City was occupied by Roman soldiers as well as the building of the temples began. It took approximately 120 YEARS to develop only one temple! Over the centuries about 100,000 slaves worked on completing the temples at Baalbeck. We wandered around the complex in aw for about 1/2 hour or so before returning to the car.

an “interesting” looking rock at the entrance to Baalbeck, Lebanon

Goats On The road at the impressive Baalbeck ruins, Lebanon
The stunning ruins of Baalbeck, Lebanon

Baalbeck, Lebanon
We were hoping to have sufficient time to inspect out the Ksara Winery – Lebanon’s oldest as well as most famous – before returning the car. We had no concept that Lebanon even created wine (or the truth that it is one of the oldest locations of wine production in the WORLD), let alone internationally acknowledged as well as awarded wine.

After reading about it in our guidebook, we had to stop in for a tour as well as tasting. Nick had never been to a winery so he was particularly excited. The winery was originally a medieval fortress as well as the grapevines that were planted in the 18th century still flourish here. the most fascinating part of the winery was the underground cavesutilized as the cellars where the wine matures.

The caves were found during Roman times as well as were broadened during WWI. now there are almost 2kms of tunnels! We were provided a tour of the winery as well as underground tunnels as well as were able to taste 5 different wines, all were a delight, except for the dessert wine, much as well wonderful for our liking. We bought a bottle of red as well as enjoyed it that night.

heading down into the cellar, Ksara Winery, Lebanon
in the ancient tunnels at the Ksara Winery, Lebanon

Keep the wine coming! Ksara Winery, Lebanon
Nick doing his extremely very first (but definitely not last) wine tasting at the Ksara Winery, Lebanon

a beautiful, white increased at the Ksara Estate, Lebanon
The next couple of days we just chilled out, walked around the city, had naps, hungout with Toni as well as Bernie, researched some countries, ahhh the tough life! The next day we were up at 5:30am to get to the flight terminal in time for our 8:30am flight to Athens, Greece. A country that wasn’t on our preliminary “itinerary”, however one that so many other travellers we satisfied had raved about as well as stated we had to see. since Syria was out of the picture, we had 3 weeks to spare as well as decided Greece would be a excellent location to spend some time.

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