Published: April 12th 2011April 12th 2011
A sculpture of tanks and army vehicles from the war
War isn't too far away here in Lebanon - you get a feeling that anger is just below the surface. This is pretty sad and worrying for most Lebanese since another conflict with Israel seems inevitable sometime in the future. The reason I say that is because of Hezbollah. We were actually lucky enough to spend a day in the beautiful Bekaa Valley which is predominantly Hezbollah territory. On our way there we encountered many road blocks and saw some of the targets that were bombed during the 2006 fighting. Our driver stopped for us to view an interesting war sculpture with war tanks and vehicles all cemented into a tall monument. This country is still very much divided and it was amazing to drive from the coast which is mostly Christian to just across the mountains to a very different Lebanon - a very staunch muslim area.
Even our driver was not happy to be there but he assured us it was safe. It was obviously a Hezbollah stronghold - an entire state within a state with Hezbollah signage and flags lining the streets. All women were covered and we were even offered a Hezbollah t-shirt to purchase as
Wine and cheese in the Bekaar Valley - awesome!
a souvenir. I was only game to take photos from inside our car which show some of the Hezbollah dominance around the town. For a movement which has a leader that only communicates via the TV - it's pretty scary to see how much influence they have and how many supporters believe in them. Their number one aim is to eliminate Israel and the momentum is very much evident in pockets of Lebanon.
Unbelievably, only half an hour down the road and in complete contrast, we're back in Christian territory on a winery tour - having lunch at a winery that could have been somewhere in Red Hill. Having spent a few days in Lebanon we have obviously heard the only Lebanese side of things so it will be interesting to visit Israel get a different view.
What I do know though is that politics and religious differences are so entrenched in everyday life for the Lebanese, so here's hoping that one day soon they can somehow sort things out without warfare amongst themselves or with their neighbours.
There are more photos below