Syria, Lebanon, Armenia and Georgia (not the Peach State)
With Traci and Dave Green
One thing that's great about being NOT is that he so often gets to go to the places many others never get to see. So this trip he was given a chance to head into the northern Middle East and Caucasus area.
First stop on the journey and some of the Dead Cities of northern Syria. Palmyra, located at an oasis about 130 miles north of Damascus was a vital city for caravans crossing the Syrian desert. It was known as the "Bride of the Desert."
"Again with the ruins" NOT mused. "Like going to Italy and Egypt."
But he found time to have a baal at the Temple of Baal in Palmyra.
In northern Lebanon the city of Baalbek sits in the Bekaa valley. Once known as Heliopolis, the roman period ruins mark what was once the largest sanctuaries in the Roman empire.
Lounging at the temple courtyard, NOT was hoping to find one of the ritualistic bathing pools to swim in. Alas, the city was like many southern counties - dry.
The lion guardians did look a bit hungry though. Flap away!
Getting away from Baalbek by the down of his feathers, it was north to Tbilisi. Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia. Naturally that caused a bit of confusion to NOT since he thought he lived in Georgia and this did not look like home. He finally accepted it was different because he didn't remember the Caucasus mountains being near Atlanta.
Hiking up a ridge at Davit Gareja there was a Georgian cave monastery. Why the monks would build all the way out of the way was answered by the views. You could see Azerbaijan from here.
Views were all over Georgia. At the top of the Georgian military highway, NOT rested after fighting bandits, landslides and altitude sickness.
"Top of the World Ma!"
Though the height made him feel like he needed to get clean. Or to throw up. Luckily he found a way to do both.
Luckily NOT successfully avoided the bends getting down and safely returned from Georgia to Georgia.
Photos courtesy of Traci and Dave Green
Last Updated December 2005