Woke up to a mostly sunny day! The girls took off for Damascus (I wanted another day in Palmyra) so I had the day to myself. Froliced around the village, had lunch, and set off to see the ruins of Palmyra in the sun. Visited the Temple of Bel. Huge courtyard, nicely restored inner temple (the outer wall is a horrible restoration, with blocks of stone shoved anywhere, even where they clearly don't belong). The temple dates back to 32 A.D. and has some good reliefe carvings. Had the temple completely to myself for about half an hour before it was invaded by school children. Luckily half an hour was about the right amount of time.
The sky started to cloud over and I could see rain in the distance, despite the ominous apearance I decided to try the hike to the citadel. Despite a few threatening sprinkles, it never rained, and the hike was great. The view from the Citadel was unbelieveable, including the modern town, the ruins, the oasis, and the surounding desert. There was a man at the Citadel enterance who collected 50 Syrian Pounds (~US$1), I don't think he was official, but it didn't bother me since a cold drink was included and I was really wanting it. The Citadel is a huge maze of chambers, halls, stairs and sheer drops. It was fun to explore, but lacked the beautiful carvings or frescos that decorate most ruins in these parts.
After hiking down the hill I wandered through the outskirts of the ruins back towards town. It was amusing to find several soccer fields lying among the ruins. Got back to the hotel, researched tomorrow's bus trip to Damascus, and spent some time on my journal.