Monday, July 6, 2009


[guest post by Ryan]

This is a long overdue post about Lebanon, which is a beautiful country full of very welcoming people and great food. For starters, we saw basically the entire country. We went north along the coast to Tripoli, south along the coast to Tyre (as far south as foreigners can go---even here there are UN tanks guarding the roads) and along nearly the entire extent of the Bekaa Valley an into the Anti-Lebanon Mountains. At times we were mere meters from the Syrian border (our GPS was unsure of which side we were on) and of course at times we were in the Mediterranean :).

Given the kind of people/travelers Cori and I are, we most enjoyed the remote mountains at the Lebanese-Syrian border. The views were breathtaking and the people were very nice, offering us to enter their tents/homes, giving us coffee and giving us great fresh food (goat meat, bread and mixed goat/sheep yogurt is great when it's served incredibly fresh).

We stayed across the street from the American University of Beirut, a thoroughly modern university regarded as one of the best in the Middle East. The area of town was nice as it was full of students (not tourists) and very alive. Below is a picture of one of AUB's buildings near its entrance:

While in Lebanon we also found some time to visit ancient ruins, which again were nice because they lacked the high volume of tourists found in such areas in Egypt, Turkey and the like. The ones pictured below are at Baalbek and date from 60 BC (or BCE if that's your style).

We also found some time to visit the souk (market) in Tripoli, pictured below. You could buy just about anything in the narrow alleyways there.

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