January 26, 2011

3 September 2010

Slept really well last night. I wasn’t expecting to because it was my first time in a tent. Almost wish it was always a tent if I could sleep like that.

We were up early today as we left for Lebanon at 7am. Getting across the borders was easy enough this time. Showed passports, paid the exit fees and carried on.

Our first stop was Balbeck. It is a set of ruins of a similar age and style to Palmyra with many sections build, changed and destroyed during the same period. We weren’t on the site for very long but we got the chance to run around taking lots of good and silly photos.

View out towards the hills

The coloumns were wider at the base than I am tall.

Lion head fountain.

Roman mosaic
The guide took us to a Lebanese restaurant for lunch but all of only picked at what came out. Everyone’s bellies have been a little dodgy from the last couple of days so no one was to game to eat much and to then get back on the bus.

It was then on to Beirut. This really is one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen. Even with the scarring on many of the remaining buildings. The smell of the Mediterranean was brilliant. You don’t realise you’ve missed salty air til you get it back.


Helen, Penny, Bruno, Agnes and I went for a walk around some of the back streets to see some of the old area. Some of the restored old buildings are just incredible.

Kate went off in a taxi to find her uncle’s war grave. She made it there and back but didn’t manage the photo she wanted as her camera and phone both died. Always the way when you want something badly enough.

Ange ended up staying at the McDonalds. She was just too sick to go anywhere.

Doves of peace on concrete road blocks

Old Beirut

Verses the new

Motar damage to a building sandwiched between new buildings
The five of us decided while we were walking to try and find a beach. We walked around with no joy for a while. We asked a few locals but they didn’t understand what we were asking for. We got in a taxi then to see how we would go but he kept pulling over to let more and more people in. Each time someone got in they did a double take to see all of us already in. Westerners really stand out surprisingly. When the cab started going up a hill and out of town (we think) we got him to pull over and we got out. It seems that only people with money were getting near the water in the area we were in. Then we turned around, got in another cab and went back to find Ange and Kate.

Thankfully the drive home wasn’t as long as we thought it would be. The mini bus wasn’t the most comfortable mode of transport because it was so cramped.

It was fantastic to have a shower when we got back. They have been the best of the tour so far. Hot (ironically) with good pressure.

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