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Sunday, May 07, 2006

Lebanon Trip

Ok, what should I start with? … mmm too many actions, too many details…
Ok, let me give it a try,
Last Thursday, we decided to go to Lebanon. It was my third visit to the country, and to be frank I didn’t enjoy the first 2 visits at all. I had the impression that, there are only two things you can do there, either to go shopping or to eat out. So, being and anti-shopping person and due to the very expensive prices I didn’t benefit from the first option. As for the second option, eating out, we went to nice places but I stayed with the feeling “then what?”.
This time I decided to visit Lebanon with a different approach. I contacted Ahmed and asked him for some tips and site-seeing. I took the list with me and we rented a car with a driver as we know nothing about the directions there.

We reached Beirut Thursday night, checked in, and then went to dine-out with some Lebanese friends at a Chinese restaurant called “Le Jardin de Chine”. The place was wonderful, the atmosphere was no relaxing and the food was good. Afterwards, we took a drive in Beirut’s streets and then back to the hotel as we were dead tired.

The next day, Friday morning, we woke up early and headed to the mountains. We started with a place called Dair el Qammar, the place is simply “Earthly Heaven”. We took a lot of pictures there. Then our next station was a place called Moussa’s Castle. It is a place which was built by a man called Moussa, he built it all by himself, nobody helped him. Imagine only ONE person building a castle, it took him almost 61 years and he is still adding to it. He wrote a book about his journey in life and called it “7elm 7ayaty -The Dream of my Life”. He finished our tour in the castle and then we went to take the car to our second destination.

On our way, we found a guy who makes “mana2eesh 3ala el saj”. Although I wasn’t hungry but I couldn’t resist having a man2oushet genba w za3tar, it was hot and juicy and simply YUMMMMMMY:)
Later, we reached Bait el Deen. The place is a huge magnificent palace, I really enjoyed every single moment there, the building the view… everything. I wished to live there forever:) I took a lot of photos, I really enjoyed doing that.

Then, we went to the real cream of journey Al-Shouf Cedar Nature Reserve. The place is absolutely wonderful, a breathtaking experience. Although it was very cold up there, yet I couldn’t dare to complain. Another thing that I noticed is the spirit of the guards there. The man who accompanied us as our guide was talking about the forest as if every tree was his beloved woman. He kept explaining how much effort it took them to maintain this place and how proud he was working in this place. I really enjoyed it and I am planning for a hiking trip during my next visit to Lebanon isa:) And of course we didn’t forget buying some stuff from the Al-shouf cedar society products such as, honey, jams, olives… etc.

Shortly after that, we went to have lunch and on our way back we went through some villages on our way like Sofar, Aalay…etc and then back to Beirut.

At night we went to downtown, the Solidaire. We sat at a coffee shop and I took my latte, then we had a walk around and eat ice-cream. I once saw the pictures of the place during the war and after the renovation. You can never believe how it was and how it is now. No wonder why the Lebanese love their leader “El Hariry” that much. The guy really did a lot to Lebanon. They say that “he built the country with his life and liberated it with his death”, allah yer7amouh.

On Saturday, we went for a walk and a little bit of shopping (just for the souvenir sake) and then we went again to the Solidaire to have lunch in a restaurant called “Al Karam”. The food was delicious and the company was wonderful.
Then at 7:15 we left Lebanon with a determination to go back again soon isa.

* Special thanks to Ahmed for the tips he gave me to make my trip very special:)

Posted by Wonderer :: 4:51 PM :: 14 comments

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