We were off to the Crac de Chevaliers today - one of Syria's iconic sites. We left our hotel after having the worst breakfast of the trip - and this is one of the most expensive hotels. We tried for a minibus trip out to the castle but none seemed to be running so we went by taxi. The trip took us out on the coast road then turned off and climbed steeply up the hill.
The castle is set at the top of a mountain where it commanded the Homs gap - the main pass between the coast and the Syrian hinterland. As we got out of the taxi, we felt frozen again despite it being a sunny day. There was snow on the mountains opposite and we asked the hotel owner if it snowed here - Oh yes, it snowed 3 days ago.
We then set off to look round the castle. It was built in the 12th century and is completely intact. It looks quite forbidding and inside it was dark and damp. The views from the top were stunning - you could see all the way to the coast and over to Lebanon. When we started looking round it. We had the place to ourselves. Latter on tour groups arrived followed by a large and very noisy group of Syrian kids.
Once we finished we stopped for a late lunch. The restaurant had one of the campest waiters I have ever met. He was quite funny - especially as he spoke multiple languages and sounded quite weird in German & Italian.