A Greek & Roman fantasyland by the sea that is deep in Hezebollah country

Tyre Travel Blog

 › entry 19 of 20 › view all entries

This town must be central and important to Hezebollah. Entering, there are many of their flags lining the road and many, many billboards and sides of buildings covered with pro Hezebollah pictures and sentiments.


The first site we went to in Tyre was al-Bass.  It was the entrance to a huge city and as such had the necropolis around the road leading to the main gate. Near the gate you are able to see where the Roman and Byzantine road differ, in design and height. Two great cultures, one on top of each other. What a fantastic place to see.


 The gate had been a three arched structure originally, but later one of the arches was lost when the necropolis was extended.  The roman road is still there.

  The site also has a hippodrome.  In fact it is the most well preserved example in the roman world.  It was used for chariot races and is quite an impressive thing to see. There are the ruins of the aquaduct that served the city, as well. At this point we were all getting very hungry and the sun was beating down on us. 


We were finally ready to eat.  We headed to the restaurant, which had a waterfront view. It was so picturesque. Looking out the window at the table, it seemed that the beautiful palm tree and small boat anchored just off shore were there just for us.  Once again that was plenty of choice for me.  The main course included fish, which made sense as were on the coast.  The only part that bothered me was the things still had their heads on them.

  Rob tried it and seemed to like them.  We sat next three young ladies, from the US,  that had been apart of an archeological dig in Syria for six months.  One was actually living in New Orleans.  The other two were form Michigan.  We had a great conversation about history and travel and the things we didn't get to see in Syria. We must return to complete the journey that we had set out to do.


After lunch, we were all in much better condition and moods.  We had one more site to visit in Tyre, Al-Mina.  It was impotant trading city of Greek and Roman ruins on the Mediteranean coast.  It was in direct competition with the Phoenicians.

There are excellent examples of cisterns.  They also had the only known square theater in the Roman world.  It is believe that this was flooded and used for water games. The site also had a huge bath complex.  There were excellent examples of mosaics and larger marble floor designs as well.


Al-Mina has been largely ignored in popular surveys. More recently, it has become important as the key to understanding the role of early Greeks in the east at the beginning of the "Orientalizig Period" of Greek cultural history.


Having had a really full day it was back to Beirut.  On the way out of town we stopped at traffic light and to my shock, as I look to my right, a professionally made sign with a picture of Uncle Sam on it with the sentiment " Stop Uncle Sam".


Upon our return to Beirut, we had a quiet dinner, packed and then hit the bed early.  We had an early fight the next morning. It was anohter amazing day of exploration of the history and culture in the Middle East waiting for us to come and be moved by it. I know that I was.

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photo by: wandafromtexas