Crac des Chevaliers (قلعة الحصب)
This majestic Crusader castle — one of the “must-see” sites in Syria and described by T.E. Lawrence as “the finest castle in the world” — sits atop the Homs Pass. The mountains here separate coastal Syria, where this morning we woke in Tartus, from the interior of the country. To the east, a fantastic view is afforded over the vast plains which extend all the way to the horizon, where our journey would continue.
Once inside, standing at the top of one of the great towers, you easily let your imagination get the better of you, imagining an army assembled below waiting for orders. The castle is immense, and the history oozing out of the stone blocks is extraordinary.
A microbus got us back down from the hills and we headed toward Homs. We had to pay for an extra seat for our bags, but the beautiful smile from the Syrian girl who explained this to us made me quickly forget the 50% fare increase. Next stop, Hama.