If you use public transport Baalbek is a relatively long drive from Beirut with changing the mini-buses, but it is really worth it. (See the details on how to get there here).
When entering Bekaa valley, you will notice a number of checkpoints, but nobody stopped the mini-buses we were on either while entering the valley or while leaving. We saw a number of soldiers on literally every square, sandbags in quite a number of areas. However, everything was quiet, and we didn’t feel any danger. Not sure, how it would be at night though.
The mini-buses go to the front of the ruins, so you don’t have to worry about finding them.
Baalbek used to be a Phoenician city named after the god Baal, a weather god with a power of lightning, as in later time Zeus and Jupiter. The city reached its prosperity during the Roman empire, when it was called Heliopolis (Sun city) .
This is such an amazing place. It boasts three Roman temples, two of them – best-preserved, particularly the temple of Bacchus. The temple of Venus is outside the locked area, you can walk around it, but can’t get close. When you enter the main archeological side, head first to the right and you will see the front of the marvelous Jupiter temple. The front looks impressive and so well preserved. We looked into every corner and cranny, took loads of pictures and sat marveling at these constructions dating back 2 millenniums.
I was particularly amazed with the temple of Bacchus, we sat in the hall for an hour or so, just enjoying the view. Overall, we spent hours in this amazing place and didn’t wanna leave.