Day 1 – Beirut

Posted on March 23, 2018

Is that the longest day ever?

Day 1 in Beirut was an interesting one. It started at about 8am on a Wednesday, in Sydney. We woke up, had breakfast, and got ready for our flight that afternoon. We arrived at the airport around midday and had some time to check-in, have lunch (what a kebab…) and wait around for our 4pm flight.

Begrudgingly, we took off at about 4:15pm, headed on our 15hr flight to Doha. I’ll spare you the boring details of the flight.

We arrived in Doha at 11:30pm local time, and I was suitably tired, having only managed to sleep a couple of hours at the most. From there, we had a short rest, before boarding our flight to Beirut. Another 4 or 5 hours later, we finally arrived in Beirut, just as the sun was rising. I managed a couple more hours of half-sleep during this flight luckily.

We found our way to the hotel we’re staying in, which is quite a nice place, and had some much needed showers. Once refreshed, we headed out to begin our day in Beirut with some well-deserved traditional breakfast. Not to mention, the best orange juice I’ve ever had. Seriously, how was it so good?

The rest of the day was spent in downtown Beirut, which seems to be a more modern part of the city. There are a lot of shops and restaurants around, a lot of which reminds me of parts of Europe. Wide cobblestone streets, Parisian-looking buildings.

We also came across a large Mosque, which was closed unfortunately, but still got to see around it.

In the afternoon, we came across some markets which were being set up for later that evening (there was also a stage being set up for a concert of sorts). After perusing there, we sat down nearby to rest and have a drink. I opted for Mango juice this time. Wasn’t as good.

Our plan was to then head back to the apartment for a rest, before returning to the markets when it was in full swing with the music and all later that evening. Soon after we got back, we all wanted a quick nap. It was around 6pm at the point I went to sleep.

Turns out, I was really tired. I woke up at 6am the next morning, and it seems everyone else did basically the same. Except for dinner. I missed out on that (apparently they tried, but couldn’t wake me). No matter. It is now early morning, as I catch up on processing photos and writing this.

I’m eating my leftover dinner, cold, as I write. It’s still pretty good.

Day 2 – Beirut

Posted on March 24, 2018

What defines a nap? Is it duration or time of day?

You already know how today started, if you read the previous post. If not… too bad. Our first destination today was Raouche, which is apparently a quite famous area, specifically for the rocks located there (pictured above). We walked the ten minutes or so along the waterside road to get there.

We ate breakfast at a great restaurant overlooking the rocks and ocean. Orange juice report – amazing. Slightly less so than the first place, but still far above the norm. More orange juice reports to come.

After breakfast, the others went to some spa/facial type thing they had booked yesterday, which left me some time to catch up on photos/blog/internet things back at the hotel.

When they returned, we had a short break before dressing up and heading out to another strip along the water, lined with restaurants. We had another great Lebanese meal, (this time with much meat), and some intense philosophical questions (what defines a nap? Is it duration or time of day?), followed by dessert and subsequent food coma.

Oh and the orange juice was great, but a little on the sour side. A bit sweeter and it would have been perfect. I want to try some from a juice bar to see if a specialty in juice is a contributing factor.

Day 11 – Beirut

Posted on April 2, 2018

Hotel, sweet hotel.

An early start today, as we had to pack our things, clean up, get showered, dressed and ready by 8:00am. Oh and our electricity wasn’t working all morning, so that made things even more fun!

A scramble later, and we were picked up and driven to Beirut, to the hotel we’ll be staying in for the remainder of our trip. Oh and we picked up some kanafeh sandwiches on the way, which was unexpected, but pretty good. We only stopped to check in, drop off our bags and meet up with Zena, before heading back out for the day (Zade was sick and stayed back).

Our first destination was an old mosque located up the mountains a bit. There wasn’t a whole lot to see, but there was a nice man who showed us around and explained the various historical significance of each room.

Next up was Moussa Castle, which was built entirely by Moussa Abdel Karim Al Maamari and houses many of his creations, as well as historical items and weaponry from different periods.

From there, we went to lunch at an outdoor restaurant, surrounded by trees, a lake and a waterfall. There was live music and a set mezze/meat/fruit menu (no complaints here) which made for a nice atmosphere. Though when you’re eating under a tree, you have to be prepared to have random leaves and things fall onto your plates. But an otherwise great meal.

Everyone was pretty tired by this point (not to mention I had begun another sneeze attack), so we headed back to the hotel to get an early rest before our tour tomorrow. I took more photos than I thought though, so no early night for me!

Day 13 – Beirut

Posted on April 4, 2018

5 minutes.

As predicted, a day of sleep, relaxation, and catching up on photos. Not much else to report really.

I went downstairs for a quick breakfast, before heading back up to process yesterdays photos and write the blog. The others meanwhile went out to do some shopping.

In the afternoon we went down for a drink and a snack, before the others had a quick nap. Then in the evening, the few of us that were awake enough walked down to Zaitunay Bay for dinner.

I have a feeling tomorrow will be similar, as it’s our last day. Our flight isn’t until 1:30am the following day though, so we have a full day to do what we want here.

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