March 2018

Day 9 – Tripoli

Posted on March 31, 2018

Your team are noobs.

A late start for us today, while the others were out doing god knows what. They did order some lunch for us though (wraps) which were delivered and consumed with great delight in the afternoon.

Then we got ready to go to another relative’s house for dessert and a catch-up. Another lavish home with a great view of Tripoli, with both the ocean and the mountains visible. I saw my first proper sunset here (usually it’s obstructed, or we’re busy doing something else).

After many sweets, cake and fruit, we said goodbye and drove a short distance to¬†another relative’s house for dinner, followed by even more dessert. We finally met some cousins who were our age though and spoke English well, so we could actually hang out and have conversations (and a sneaky OW game). What a strange feeling.

After our meal, they took us youngens out to a swanky underground bar, which had live music (English songs tonight!) and we had even more food and drinks.

It was nice to go out at night and do something different for a change. This post is late because we got back late and I was too tired. It won’t happen again (haha…ha).

Day 8 – Tripoli

Posted on March 30, 2018

Go fish.

Today was all about food and family. And boy oh boy was there a lot of food. We got to sleep in a bit, before meeting up with family at a nearby restaurant for lunch. Here’s a snippet of our meal.

I filled up on the huge amount of mezze provided, before realising the meat was still to come. Chicken, lahmeh, kefta – stacks on stacks on stacks. I forced some down (as well as two orange juices, which were 9/10’s), and then out came the dessert and fruit.

Another huge food coma later, we went back to our relatives house which was next door to the restaurant. The house was huge, right on the water, and super fancy.

We hung out there, took some photos had more dessert, drinks and played cards until the evening. I think this is the third day in a row we’ve eaten so much to be bursting at the seams.

It sounds like tomorrow will be another chill family day, so may not be many photos. I’ll try and get some though.

Day 7 – Lebanon Tour

Posted on March 29, 2018

Shrek! I’m lookin down!

A big day today. Too many photos, hence the late post. Let’s get into it.

We began our day with some munoosh and orange juice (as usual), and ate as we drove up into the mountains. It was a long, but scenic drive up the narrow winding roads built into the sides of the mountains.

After a couple of hours, we made it high enough to see snow! Although Lebanon is at the end of its snow season, so there wasn’t much around. But it did mean that it was very quiet up there. And I can say with no metaphor or hyperbole, it was freezing.

Due to the temperature, no one was keen to stick around for too long, so we soon headed off to our next sight – an old forest.

Again, our time was limited as apparently our next destination was time-sensitive. Whatever it was, it didn’t end up happening anyway.

We ended up driving a long way around the mountains, and for a long while along a walking trail at a snails pace (it was very rocky). After a long time, and a few really close calls (narrow mountain path, cars passing two ways…) we had driven as far as we could, and would have to hike the remainder of the path up to the monastery.

We reached the top and spent a bit of time looking around, taking photos and just enjoying the atmosphere. One of the nuns greeted us too.

It was so quiet and peaceful up there, away from all the noise. And surprisingly good reception too. Seems like a pretty nice place to live.

We made our way back down, and drove back along the treacherous path, until we were back on the main mountain roads. We stopped briefly for some photos.

Then it was off to a late lunch/early dinner at a great restaurant overlooking the valley. Again, it was nearly empty as people don’t usually eat at this time, so we had an abundance of waiters around, but they were very accommodating and had some delicious food.

We had the usual hommous, tabouleh, potato, mixed grill, with some piping hot fluffy bread. Oh and I would say the best orange juice yet. I took some photos of the view afterwards.

From there, our driver took us around to a view other scenic roads and interesting sights, such as a house-plane.

It was well into the evening when we finally got back to Tripoli, but had little time to rest before meeting up family at a nearby cafe area for drinks. We were all pretty tired, but it was a nice way to end the night.

Day 6 – Lebanon Tour

Posted on March 28, 2018

No more s’mores, no more s’mores.

We started our morning with breakfast delivered to the apartment (munoosh, labneh), before getting picked up by our driver for the day to take us to a few different sites.

Firstly, we drove down to the sea and walked around down there. It was nice, yet somehow familiar…

We soon realised we were down at the water at Byblos, so had a bit of a stop in to the markets there again to shop and get a drink. One spilled drink later, and we were off!

Afterwards, we got picked up and drove further along the coast to get to the seafood restaurant in which we were going to have lunch. It had an alright view.

This place was super fancy though, to my dismay. My main issue with fancy restaurants (portion size) was definitely not a problem here. There were five courses, each of which I could have eaten and been full. Entrees, cold mezze, hot mezze, main, dessert, coffee. It’s 9pm now and I’m still not hungry.

Though the food and location were great, the fanciness meant constant waiters hovering around, pouring water every ten seconds, aligning plates and glasses, serving each food item onto individual plates, and just generally fussing about. Just let me serve my own food dammit!

The highlights of the meal was the fluffy bread, the potato dishes (chilli and mashed with oil), and the dessert (rice pudding with sugar fluff). We were at the restaurant for three hours, and eating for most of that time (I was too busy with all the food to take photos unfortunately. Rest assured, there was enough food for another four people, so we had a lot of leftovers! We gave them to the driver to give to someone who needs it).

Upon completion of our food comas, we left to head back to the apartment, stopping to top up our mobile internet data (I won’t get into the hassle of that).

Then it was back home for some rest, a game of checkers, and the usual tiredness which leads to me staying home while the parentals go visit some family.

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