Blogs from Beirut, Lebanon, Middle East


Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut March 12th 2019

Tuesday March 12, 2019 – Today was a long day. I finally got out of bed at 7:30 and finished up some blogging. It usually takes much longer than I think it will. Add that to bad internet, and hey, you got work. I planned out my day and got out of the apartment around 9:15am. I started walking to the National Museum, which is about 30 minutes away, trying to use my map to be successful. Of course, Beirut has other ideas. I was generally in the right place when I stopped at a little place for a take-away breakfast. I got a pita rolled up with lebnah and vegetables. I couldn’t exactly remember what any of the food optons were, but I’m sure Johanna had mentioned lebnah so that’s what I got. It was ... read more
National Museum
National Museum
National Museum

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut March 10th 2019

Saturday March 9, 2019 – I had so much time before my flight left at 4:30pm today that I thought there would be no way to be pre-trip stressed. I was wrong. I did a smidge of cleaning and worked on my packing a bit more. I changed some of the things I was bringing, and agonized over every decision. As always. I don’t know why I’m not an expert packer by now, but there you are. I said good-bye to the boy and the cats and headed out to the bus a little before 2:30pm. Then a tram. Then another bus to the airport. It felt like I waited ages to check-in, but it was really a maximum of 15 minutes. When I had checked in online, for some reason I could print the ticket ... read more
Mohammed El-Amine Mosque
Mohammed El-Amine Mosque

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut February 12th 2019

Day 74: Smooth commute back to Ashford. Really nice to catch up with Hat after a few months, and be with the grandparents at the same time. Hours sadly pass very quickly sitting around that table. Slept like a log with the comfort a non-hostel bed. Day 75: Packing skill-set truly tested with some of the acquisitions, but after a couple hours of deliberation and trial it all fitted in the 90 litre pack. Dawned on me after a couple of big 'see you laters' that the trip is very much coming to a close. Gatwick check-in was as quick as Europe even with bag. Istanbul airport is both massive and chaos, never seen so much ground support on the move. Upgrade to premium economy for the short leg to Beirut - nice one. Day 76: ... read more

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut January 26th 2019

A two hour taxi drive takes us from North Lebanon to South Lebanon. It's a small country but each area is different. Beirut is a cosmopolitan city; Byblos is predominantly Christian; Sidon is 80% Sunni Muslim. Sidon has large Syrian and Palestinian refugee camps on its outskirts; some were established in the ‘50s but refugees still arrive today. Our hotel is run by Palestinians and our map tells us that the border to Lebanon's south is with Palestine not Israel. Yasser Arafat's poster is everywhere. Our hotel is old, all stone arches, high ceilings and wonky doorways. The walls are made of huge stone blocks, the windows are shuttered. We are the only guests; we have breakfast in our dusty, exclusive dining room on the roof. Our room and the roof terrace overlook the port and ... read more
Sidon's sea castle
Ottoman era house

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut January 23rd 2019

We’re not supposed to be in Beirut, not even in the Lebanon, but here we are in a taxi, whizzing through Beirut’s dodgy southern suburbs into the safe downtown. We were due to travel to Sudan, organised by a UK tour company in partnership with the foremost travel company in Khartoum. Everything was arranged including visas on arrival in Sudan and we had the necessary documents to show this. Or rather, we thought we did until Epypt Air in Cairo refused to let us board the plane to Khartoum. No visa, no check in, no fly. A quick bit if replanning and here we are, unprepared and disorganised and heading for Beirut. To our west, we catch glimpses of the Med; to the east, glimpses of the snow covered Chouf mountains. Seaside and skiing in a ... read more
Place d'Etoile, Beirut
Byblos harbour
Byblos ruins

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut November 4th 2018

Beirut. The name never conjures up neutral reaction; usually raised eyebrows or enlarged eyes from anyone a little familiar with the place. Perhaps your first thoughts are about war. Perhaps they are about a cosmopolitan melting pot of cultures and religions. Perhaps they are about its vibrant bars and crazy nightlife. Perhaps they are about the awesome band of the same name. Whatever your opinions and whatever instantly comes to mind however, there is one thing that we can all agree on; Beirut is a name that fires fascination. It has certainly always done so for me and this started from a young age. When I was a kid, Beirut was always associated with violence, with reports on the six o'clock news always carrying stories about the latest bombing or assassination. Then as a teenager, the ... read more
Mohamed Al Amin Mosque
Place de l'Etoile
The Temple Of Bacchus, Baalbek

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut August 25th 2017

Hi folks, and a warm welcome to Beirut, a city which has weathered the storm for so long, that you might be forgiven for assuming that its' remaining fragile infrastructure after the 16 year long civil war could have easily crumbled under its own weight. Well, the Lebanese are way too forward-thinking, and the plan of reconstruction has clearly yielded some impressive results which make modern-day Beirut a city of stylish features and then some. In terms of visuals, a great place to commence this city tour is the Sursock museum, whose exterior design (a 1912 villa) hints at the interior which showcases both Lebanese and international modern art. Located slightly east of downtown Beirut, this spot is also a prime location from which to embark upon a day-long city tour on foot. Nearby Place de ... read more
The Sursock Museum (Beirut; The Lebanon)
Good match for Istanbul? (Beirut; The Lebanon)
Modern architecture (Beirut; The Lebanon)

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut May 19th 2016

Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport / Kolejny lot, podczas którego jedynie co mogę zobaczyć przed drogą powrotną to lotnisko.... read more

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut May 16th 2016

The long and difficult history of Lebanon has led to a sizeable Lebanese community in my home town of Sydney. In fact I went to school with a bunch of Lebanese boys, so it's great to finally have the chance to explore the country for myself. There has been much written and spoken over the years about the interminable conflicts in the Middle East, and I'm pleased to say I can now gather a little perspective on the life of these friendly people. I've booked over a week at the Hostel Beirut, and am intent on making the most of my visit to this small but strategically important country. Beirut has always had a magical appeal for travellers, and it's a thrill and an honour to be here for the first time. The journal left off ... read more
Street in Byblos
Mosque in Beirut
Relaxing with locals

Middle East » Lebanon » Beirut February 7th 2016

As we walk into the restaurant and give our name to the hostess for a table, we then move on as we always do….to the softly lit bar and grab a stool where Sami brings us a couple of libations. This place is all too familiar to us, with its fake, yet attractive grape vines hanging from the ceiling and all for that part, all around the room. It is our very favorite restaurant in Toledo, Ohio, Dave’s hometown. When we visit family we always try to spend an evening at “The Beirut.” It is one of those restaurants where you always feel at home. It is a restaurant with fantastic food. A standard that you hold all other Lebanese restaurants to…which may be unfair, but it’s our standard, after all. We’ve eaten our way around ... read more
Fresh catch
Psychedelic Walkway

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