Saturday, May 28, 2011

Highlights of Lebanon: Day 1

Here are some of the more memorable highlights of our recent trip to Lebanon:
aerial view of Beirut & Mediterranean coastline
Monday morning we hopped on a 40-minute flight from Amman to Beirut, which Jack enjoyed and Safita tolerated just fine.  At the Amman airport, it's the first time I've experienced going through a separate women-only security line...and, similar to bathrooms, there was a WAY longer line for the women than the men.  Is it just the nature of women that in any given location there are simply more of us than men?  Anyway, it turned out that they were part of a group of originally-Lebanese-now-Australians who were on a pilgrimage, and they were quite friendly.
our Almond Blooms Guesthouse room

When we arrived in Beirut, we picked up our rental car and made a mad dash through the crazy city traffic, somehow successfully navigating the labyrinth of roads to our guest house.  The guest house, however, was impossible to find--it was a very nondescript place down an alley of the old souk and had no signs whatsoever.   The neighbors down the street didn't even know where it was.  So, it was a tiny place, but the room was nice and it had an AMAZING view!

We got settled and changed, then went to the Dog River, which, apparently, was difficult to cross in antiquity, so all the conquering nations who passed bragged about their success with carvings on the rock cliff.  There are a whole range of inscriptions, from Assyrian and Egyptian to Napoleon to more modern French and Arab. 
this is what the Dog River looks like today
Napoleon's inscription, which he placed directly over a Ramses II cocky (and unfortunate)
Left: Assyrian inscription, Right: another Ramses inscription
We ended the day at a delicious Italian restaurant, complete with fresh mint lemonade.  I could tell the kiddos were exhausted, because for bedtime Jack eagerly crawled into his bed, lay down, and fell asleep (it's NEVER that easy!).

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