We headed out of Palmyra, quite pleased to get out of the frozen desert. We had had another chilly night in the draughty hotel. Our next destination was Homs and the bus journey there took us through some pretty boring countryside - just miles of desert. Then, about 20km short of Homs, it gave way to a much greener landscape with almond trees in blossom. We had entered the Orontes valley which grows lots of Syria's fruit and vegetables.
The only drawback to the green countryside was it was now raining. Homs on a Friday, with everything closed up, in the rain looked miserable. We checked into our hotel and waited for the rain to stop. It duly brightened up and we went for a look round the sights. There are many attractions in Homs - one is the Souq. Unfortunately that was closed as it was Friday. There were a few food shops open but that was it. We wandered into the Christian quarter - and promptly got lost (poor quality map is my excuse). We came across a church and I realised that it one of the other major sites. We went in to confirm and ask directions, but the man insisted on showing us round the church giving details of it . It is built over the original church that goes back to the 1st century. The highlight is a relic that is purported to be the belt from the Virgin Mary. He gave us the full providence - how it travelled to India and back and then it was discovered in 1953.
After this we decided we needed some comfort food - and found Homs last attraction a good Pizza place. Even that was empty on a miserable Friday afternoon!