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Written on: Wednesday April 9th, 2008

A journal entry from: Trails in 2008

Wow! Once again another fabulous site - I am getting concerned about all the photos of rubble we are collecting.

Two nights in Palmyra to explore the ruins, in its heyday around 250AD and ruled by Zenobia, who bathed in camels milk (as opposed to Cleopatra who bathed in donkey milk).  We found another excellent tour guide, Mohammed Ali, or rather, he found us.  We had already walked around half of the site but when he took us round we went back with him to where we had already been.  Its amazing when you get people who can really bring the place to life and point out all the things we had missed.  This has also meant the most photos me and Al have ever had together on a holiday - they love taking charge of the camera! 

At sunset we went up to the citadel on the hill to get a view of the ruins.  Every tourist in town was up there!  We were surrounded by Americans wearing teatowels on their heads and kiwis shouting down at their mates too cheap to pay the entrance fee - entertaining and embarassing all at the same time.

Our first touch with officialdom was being invited to join some Ministry of Tourism officials next to us in the restaurant in 'hubbly bubbly'.  Don't be alarmed, its just the old shisha pipe with flavoured tobacco.  Its really worthwhile staying the night in places where the tour buses come and go during the day. The locals in Palmyra were really friendly.