Even if you think you’ve been ruined by touring so many fine ruins in the Middle East, Baalbeck (10,000 LL) is a real treat and worth the trip. Beautifully set in Lebanon’s Beqqa’a valley, this site includes spectacularly large columns and the largest Roman temple (Bacchus: God of wine) in the world. We toured in February and virtually had the place to ourselves (apart from the half a dozen or so camera-shy, gun bearing soldiers lurking about). Once you get used to the khaki-clad folks appearing and disappearing between pillars, it actually feels like a peaceful place. (Perhaps falsely since 3 days after leaving, reports stated that the Israelis had bombed in the valley).