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 5) Beqaa Valley to Baalbek Roman Ruins

June 16, 2018 Beqaa – Bekaa

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ladies just wanna have fun 🙂

Wow! This is the 5th day, imagine waking up early morning everyday, thinking what to wear ? hahaha True!

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Believe me…I see you’re smiling, with my madame malou huh! Wearing same clothes for two consecutive day is a NO! Period! Funny, I was told that Lebanese women are very fashionable, like to wear high heels etc. So , I packed a reasonable clothes, kind of middle, not too formal, not too rugged , a wedge shoes and a rubber shoes. Oh! I’m glad I also packed a jogging pants, just in case 🙂 If I knew beforehand, we will be hiking and walking everyday, I will bring a more appropriate clothing and foot wear.

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Beqaa is fertile valley in the eastern region, located about 30 km east of Beirut. It is situated between Mt. Lebanon to the west and Anti -Lebanon mountains to the east. DSC_6888

The water that flows came from the Valley. It’s a beautiful place with lots of trees. And as we drive forward, in a middle of nowhere, a spectacular view of a man-made lake (not sure actually) awaits us. Awesome view, my photos were taken while I am inside the bus.

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The elongated plateau is known for its warm and dry summer and on winter the mountains were covered by snow.

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During Lebanese civil war, cannabis cultivation was a major source of income, but it seems, it continues until now. Fields were planted with figs, apples and cannabis as well.

 

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We went down and took photos, and of course ladies, we had a fun-filled photo shoot 🙂

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June 16, 2018 – Baalbek Roman Ruins

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Ba’albek or Baalbek is an ancient Phoenician city in Anti – Lebanon foothills east of Beqaa Valley. ( the name “Baalbek” means Lord Baal of Beqaa Valley). It’s fascinating to note that Baalbek inhabited as early as 9000BCE. Alexander the great conquered Baalbek  and renamed it as “Heliopolis” City of the sun.

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normal houses can be seen around the roman ruins

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I know, in my high school year, hmmm pardon me, I only remembered some words in my History book like Ottoman empire, Alexander the Great, Heliopolis City 🙂 Not in my wildest dream that one day, I will be standing at the ruins of Ancient Roman Empire. I wonder how these massive tons of stones were moved ,placed and arranged.

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look at me 🙂 nope look at the stones, so huge! how they were able to moved it? Fascinating.. right?

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Another wonder of all wonder is the giant stone called “Stone of the Pregnant Woman”

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Stone of the South -is a Roman Monolith

Pregnant stone? does it deliver stone? hahaha nope! There were many stories behind the given name. One says, the monolith is named after a pregnant woman who tricked the people into believing that she knew how to moved the huge stone, if only they would feed her until she gave birth. While other say, the name reflects the belief that any woman who touches the stone will increase the chance of getting pregnant.

Ladies, whatever the story is, Baalbek should be in your bucket list!

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 2/2) en route to Jeita – just for fun

June 13, 2018

En route to the magical Jeita grotto 18 Km north of Lebanon, the road leading to the caverns is carved into the mountains and surrounded with trees. There lived a family enchanted by the cool swept of the air and the smell of  nature.

The ALjeji family 🙂

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A family of four

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a daughter and a son

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a happy servant

but one day,when the son was away, the wife and the daughter got mad and would like to leave the mountain, but the father refused.

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I’ll shoot if you say no!

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axe if  she doesn’t succeed 🙂

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but the father triumphed. the wife and daughter agreed to stay.

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and they lived happily ever after 🙂

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the end… just for fun, the story is not real. 🙂

Photography @ Jeita

Cheers,

Jamilamimi@beautybeyondfifty

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