Bearing Witness

Lebanon

I have just spent just over a week  in Lebanon and it has been great ! I started my time there in Tripoli after cutting cross county from Crac Des Chevaliers in Syria.

Tripoli was cool, although my knee was playing up, so I spent the first day smoking akila, drinking tea and reading. On the second day I explored the Souqs which are considered the best in Lebanon, and I would agree. There are four main Souqs, the Souq al-Sayyaghinand or the Gold  Souq, the Souq al-Attarinor the Medieval Souq and Souq al-Haraj and Souq an-Nahhassinor or the Brass Souqs. I then visited the Citadel of Raymond De Saint-Gilles, which was originally a Crusader fortress. The most impressive part of the Citadel was the imposing entrance with it’s moat and three gateways – one Crusader- AD 11oo, one Mamluk – AD 1280 and one Ottoman – AD 1516. Apart from the entrances the other  feature of the Citadel is the spectacular view of Tripoli it gives you, as it is set on the hill above Tripoli’s old town. I then ventured into the new part of town – Tripoli like much of Lebanon, has a split personality. The newer part of town is very prosperous and resembles a very western and modern city, however the old part is definitely less prosperous and has buildings, such as the Citadel, which date back to AD 1100.

 From there I went down south to stay with a friends family near Nabitia. I had a fantastic time exploring the south, with my tour guide Mattie. I saw Tyre and it’s ancient ruins, both Roman and Byzantine and Sidon’s and it’s wonderfully well preserved 13th century Crusader Sea Castle. However the highlight of my time in the south, as it was in Nablus, was the people I meet and who welcome me into their home so warmly. I would like to thank Mattie my tour guide and friend and his family for a wonderful three days.

I then head north to Beirut and visited Jitta grotto the most amazing caves I have ever seen and rode the cable car to the hills above Beirut. Before spending several days just soaking up the atmosphere of Beirut, which is one cool city. I mainly hung out in Hamra district with it’s many cool bars, great restaurants and fine women.

Sunset over Tripoli

Sunset over Tripoli

Downtown Nebitia

Downtown Nabitia

Sea Castle at Sidon

Sea Castle at Sidon

Roman ruins at Tyre

Roman ruins at Tyre

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February 4, 2009 - Posted by | My Travels | , , , ,

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