10 days in Lebanon (day 9) walk through the woods of Taanayel

June 20, 2018 Wednesday –  en route to Taanayel

 

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I know, this is quite late  but I would still like to share my last day in Lebanon. That was a lovely day to walk before heading to our final destination Taanayel.

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A beautiful sight to behold

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Taanayel village is just a few kilometers from Zahleh, approximately one hour from Beirut ,an attractive corner of Beqaa where you can find a lot of trees, a lake and ducks 🙂 not only ducks but horses and cows too! It’s an agricultural area with vineyards and orchards of fruit trees. This is the area I got the most delicious labneh produced locally.

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entrance fee 2000LBP

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A lovely day to stroll along the pathways of tall trees, you can choose to bike, or ride a horse drawn-carriage or ride the horse, if you know how 🙂

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or you can argue which way to go, what corner is good to pose for pictures etc anything under the sun with the cool air , argument was just as lovely as the day. You can not go wrong in this beautiful sight.

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not even a snake can break my day.  I just took the shot continued walking 🙂 afraid? nope! I told one of the group leader about it and suddenly a group of children gathered around, I think the snake left… ashamed that he showed up hahaha

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At the end of the pathway is an awesome view of the lake.

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A little trivia : this place was granted to the Jesuit father in 1860 by the Turkish government as a compensation for the massacre of five Jesuits in the same year. Please continue reading here 

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local products

As you can see the place was a result of a marvelous hardworking Jesuits who cultivated the land and installed a large plant for dairy products and made it available commercially in 1958 and in 1994 the brand “La Laiterie du Couvent de Taanayel” was launched. The dutch yellow cheese is known as “Ghouda”  OMG! Do you think its like saying good ah! 🙂 just joking!

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Ladies, add this to your bucket list, I promise you will love the place and will not forget the taste of labneh and cheese!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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10 days in Lebanon (day 8) en route to Cedars of Lebanon

June 19, 2018 to Cedars of Lebanon

We were out everyday so we decided to rest for a day (7) and today (8) we went driving, instead of riding a tourist  bus. It was a beautiful day, stopping to smell the freshness of the air and appreciate the beauty of nature.DSC_7566

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We passed by  Deir El Kamar, where we went down on Dany Chamoun Square. In here we found the statue of Camille Chamoun – 2nd president of the Lebanese Republic. Marie Baz Museum was just at the corner but we did not get in. The old stone houses and pavement was a history in itself, even the souvenirs were all interesting to look at. The Fakreddine mosque built-in 1493.We also walked toward the Church of Saidet el Talleh which was built-in the 17th century. The entrance of Prince Chehabi’s Castle built-in 1756. Wow! I felt like I went into the time machine. 🙂

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Chamoun square
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entrance at Prince Chehabi Castle

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Church of Saedet el Talleh
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Fakreddine mosque

We have also seen the outside of Moussa mosque but we did not get in,I think this day was a day that we opted not to spend money for entrance fees 🙂 On our way to Cedar mountain, we have seen locally harvest tomatoes , that looks like apples. Real big!

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Beautiful! A must see for you ladies!

Cheers,

Jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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10 days in Lebanon (day 6) From Saint Charbel church to Baatara Gorge Waterfall and Douma

June 17, 2018 Saint Charbel church

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Before going to our final destination of the day, we passed by St charbel Church, located at the outskirt of the town Jezzine. A lot of people came to attend the Sunday mass. We also saw a group of Filipinos, who were on tour. St Maroun Monastery is also St Charbel Sanctuary. One thing that I noticed was the oil of healing. I was told, if you blessed the oil, it can heal your pain.But I guess, it comes with the faith too. There were a lot of souvenirs on sale as well as goods like cheese, yogurt which is locally produced. One particular harvest that took my attention were the torpedo onions

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locally produced Torpedo onions – an Italian variety dry onion with sweet taste used in salad

June 17, 2018 Baatara Gorge Waterfall

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Balou’ Bala’a or Baatara gorge waterfall is located 76 km from Beirut. It is also known as “Cave of Three Bridges” though I was not able to really get into the 3rd bridge (fear of heights) this is an amazing hike not to mention my attire 🙂 I know I should have research the place so I can dressed appropriately.

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The photo doesn’t show much the steepness of the cliff and the ruggedness of the rocks but I was braved to try, at least on the first level 🙂 The water that flows was not that enormous, I guess there was no rainfall on June.

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photo taken from the poster

Activities include walking to the monkey bridge, climbing, tyrolienne, hiking, abseiling and camping. Did we do all of that? Nope! no time 🙂

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Lunch at Douma Village, this is our 3rd day of Barbecue, wow! 3 consecutive days, I am not complaining but my tummy says otherwise 🙂 After lunch as usual, people were dancing and of course there’s a belly dancer too! Then we went roaming around the old market.

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Tired but happy to be on tour with this couple.

Cheers,

Jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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10 days in Lebanon (day 4) Nabatieh Beaufort Castle

June 15, 2018 Nabatieh

It’s the first day of Eid, we thought that tour buses were not operating but to our surprise it did! So off we went 🙂 we did not waste time, didn’t we?

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We woke up at 5:30 in the morning, excited to go on our first trip, we were told if were on the bus at 7 am, we would have the first seat for us, the view would be beautiful than seating at the back, but the bus driver said otherwise. He preferred that we sit at the second row to pass the border checkpoint easily. The tour guide doesn’t speak english well, but I have a very good interpreter Nabil, my friend 🙂 who did a good job! I think he was historian of the past!

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We passed Saida and I got a quick shot of 13th century fortress built by crusaders – Sidon sea castle. We had breakfast along the shore, I forgot the name of the restaurant because I remembered the sweet smell of Kanafeh and could not resist not to eat it.

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kanafeh grilled cheese sandwich

Nabatieh is the city of the Nabatieh Governorate, in southern Lebanon.

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Bellfort or Beaufort Castle known to arab travelers as Sheqif Arnon. located about 1 kilometer to the south-south-east village of Arnoun. “High rock of Arnon”

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The castle strategic location got a good view of the southern Lebanon and Israel. The walls were all thick and there were small windows which probably used by sniper. There was also like a basement which my friend think used for prisoners. It was dark and scary to walk through.

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After the Beaufort castle we proceeded to the Palestinian border, along the way we saw graffiti walls which tell stories of people and the conflict that was and still going.We can actually see the houses on the other border.

After wondering at the beautiful scenery, we have reached our lunch destination. Who would have thought that at the oasis (alwazzani river) Hosn Al Wazzani resort can be found against the backdrop of barb wire and enemy troops? You can actually see the peacekeeping troops on the top of the border.

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The sumptuous lunch ended with a dance. what a nice way to end the day.

Nice tour, nice people, nice lunch and nice dance too 🙂

Cheers,

Jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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10 days in Lebanon (day 3) Teleferique from Jounieh to Harissa and a walk to Byblos

June 14, 2018 – Teleferique from Jounieh to Harissa

Harissa  village is 20 km north of Beirut.

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On the 3rd day we went back to Jounieh looking for teleferique. I was wondering what is teleferique?

Teleferique dubbed as “Terorrifique” is  a cable car 🙂

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I am afraid of heights let alone the cable car, but I am 59 years old.. so let’s go! Life is too short not to see the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon. Soaring high nearly 650 meters above the sea level, at the speed of 3.15 meters per second.  Did you hear my scream? hahaha

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Actually that’s an awesome 9 minutes ride and after reaching the top, I guess we were overwhelmed that instead of riding the funicular to take the remaining distance to the statue of Our Lady of Lebanon, we walked up few more stairs, I ‘m glad my knees are in good condition (I think) at my age.  🙂 A less than hundred few steps and were up, just to look back and realized we could have taken the funicular ride instead of walking hahaha.

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Spectacular view!

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Oh ! The steps we took was nothing when we saw the 13 ton statue of Our Lady of Lebanon, it is made of bronze painted white – The Virgin Mary.

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This is a pilgrimage site in Lebanon. I would keep it as a major accomplishment for me, facing my fear of heights and offering my prayers for my love ones especially the early demise of my dear jun.

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There was also an exhibition of ancient Russian icons, a display of absolute beauty.

 

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June 14, 2018 – Byblos

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After eating the most tastiest felafel sandwich , we headed to Byblos, the oldest city in the world that is continuously inhabited.Located 42 km north of Beirut. On our way to see the ancient ruins from stone age, we passed by the old souk of Byblos. In here you can see small shops selling souvenirs, local cafe, literally the chairs are in the middle of the small shops, we were tempted to sit but no time to drink because our tummy was still full of felafel. 🙂

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At the right end of the souk, we went to see the Byblos castle. Apparently the local pays less than the tourist because we were asked at the entrance what country we came from.

Byblos castle or castle of giblet built by the crusaders in the 12th century from indigenous limestone and the remains of Roman structures.

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the ruins consist of Roman Colonnade

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a small Roman amphitheater

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There’s a lot more to see in Byblos but we opted to end the day satisfied seeing the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Greek and Roman ruins.

 

Cheers,

Jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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10 days in Lebanon (day 2/1) Dog river to Jeita cave to Jounieh

June 13, 2018 – Dog River

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Nahr al -Kalb (Dog River) runs 31 km from a spring coming from Jeita to the Mediterranean sea.

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There are about 20 commemorative inscriptions (stelae) on the rocks at the mouth of the river. It sum up the history of Lebanon, from high antiquity to the present. It includes Egyptian inscriptions,Assyrian and Babylonians inscriptions,Classical antiquity inscription, Islamic inscription, Colonial and Lebanese inscriptions.

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June 13,2018 – Jeita Cave

From Dog River , we headed forward to Jeita Cave. Camera and Cellphones were not permitted inside. This is the most amazing cave I ever seen. So clean, has an access tunnel and walkway for tourist to have safe passage without disturbing the natural landscape.There’s also cableway to transport tourist to the Jeita grotto and a small train on the ground to exit the area. The Cave is divided into two level, the upper level which has the walkway access of around 750 meters. The actual length of the cave is around 2, 130 meters. It has the longest stalactite in the world measuring 8.2 meters long. Gigantic! The Lower level can be access only by electric boat for a distance of 500 meters.

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Unique Statue outside the Jeita grotto.

The Guardian of Time Statue

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The Phoenician garden at Jeita.

June 13, 2018 – Jounieh

After the awesome trip to Jeita, we headed to Jounieh looking for the best shawerma 🙂 I was hungry and my friend kept on driving, I told him, this shawerma must be worth the trip, indeed it was! And not only the shawerma but the scenery along the shore was fantastic. Jounieh is a costal city about 16 km north of Beirut.

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Cheers,

jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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10 days in Lebanon (day 1) Pigeon rock Beirut

June 12, 2018 – Day 1

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My best friend of 28 years and her family left Jeddah for good so I took the Eid holiday with them in Lebanon. I arrived in the afternoon of June 12, 2018. There was no big fuss at the airport. It was like coming home to my own family. His sister, mom and brother were very accommodating. On landing Beirut,I noticed immediately the beautiful houses on the mountain, the narrow road with up and down hills and yet the cars were all double parked on the streets.You must be a very good driver to reach your home alive 🙂

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After 15 year-long civil war,It’s amazing to see the houses that withstand the time, along the newer buildings. The house in front of my friends’ house was built 100 years ago. Wow! Bullet holed building near the newer modern building.I was not able to take photos of the downtown center.

The mosque and churches were also standing side by side. Veiled ladies along side women with crop top. This is just awesome multicultural differences in reality.

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Our first destination is Raouché rock (pigeon rock) as tourist, you never been in Beirut if you don’t have the mandatory photo of the rock 🙂

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This is a natural landmark which is also known as Sabah Nassar’s rock.

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On June 8, 2014, Michael Haddad, paralyzed from chest down climbed the pigeon rock and planted the Lebanese flag on top, as a part “defying disability to the top” raising awareness on water pollution and marine life threats. If you like to read more about him, pls click here

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It’s a beautiful sunset for the first day minus the mosquitoes bites that I got from going down to the place 🙂

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cheers,

jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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