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Beirut: My Trip to Beirut

Published by Sala Hassan — 11 months ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon


The trip was for six hours from Abu Dhabi to Beirut with Gulf airlines. (converted to 8 hours due to delay).

After getting out of passport control, we took our rental car from the Access Hall and headed to the city. Nothing can prepare you for the streets of Beirut. Driving on the streets of this city is organized chaos. We found our way through the city, but it took some time and a little patience. After a few mistakes we got the hotel, the Cavalier Hotel.                       

The Cavilir Hotel is a 4-star hotel located off the famous Hamra Street. The hotel is clean and has a great location for anyone who loves cafes and Beirut streets. The rooms are large and spacious but one side of the hotel was not comfortable, that the balcony overlooks directly the gym where sitting out was a little confusing. If you have rented a car ask the hotel to get a parking space where finding a position for your car may take a long time. .

Day 1:

After a break in the hotel for a few hours, we walked in downtown Beirut. The region has been completely re-developed in the last few years, and the beauty of the development has already emerged as we walk the city.

Central Beirut Area

The downtown area is an elegant and rich part, we have found a large number of beautiful restaurants and shops such as Versace, Rukis, Dolce and Gabana. It was a great romantic experience walking in the bright orange-lit streets at night. We found Muhammad al-Amin's mosque at the beginning of the area. Built alongside ancient Roman relics. The magnificent mosque at night and its courtyard provides a peaceful comfort zone from the crowded streets of Beirut.
Day 2:

Careful

We woke up early and headed to the north of the country. And our first stop on our list was careful. Located directly above the coastal town of Jounieh. Consisting of two villages and featuring the presence of the "Lady of Lebanon".

Usually a cable car takes you from the city to the park but unfortunately it was under repair, so we had to drive the winding road ourselves

The 8-metre-high statue overlooking the town of Jounieh is a stunning location. Located in a quiet garden, we found it an ideal place to sit and watch the Mediterranean

Jbeil

After returning down the mountain, we headed to Byblos, one of the oldest populated cities in the world. The Old City of Jubail is located on the small peninsula in the center of the city.

It is a wonderful feeling to be surrounded by this glorious history and to walk the streets of the old market, standing on the walls of the castle and looking at the port of Jubail. Visiting a museum in the vicinity of the castle, showing the history of the city in spectacular theater.

Rice

After lunch, we went north-west, to the mountains to reach the "rice". Getting there was the best and hardest part of the trip. The roads are narrow and confusing but the beautiful scenery has made us pause every 10 minutes and enjoy the scenic views.

We were unable to rely on a GPS that tried to send us to the mountain more than once. It took us about two and a half hours to get there because of the roads. The park was closed when we arrived but we were to see the giant cedar trees close by. With some trees over 4000 years old, the fact that Lebanon is the heart of human history has proved.

The entire forest covered with snow was one of the most beautiful natural miracles we have ever seen. The weather was freezing, but it is wonderful to watch the sunset over the mountains, which shows how much Lebanon can offer.

Local food

The road to the house was interesting in the dark but we found a better way to return to Beirut. When we arrived at the hotel, we bought some well-recommended local cuisine from the Berbers restaurant. We tried Kubba, Fatair and Shawarma. It took some time to get everything we wanted. And it was a great way to end this busy day.

Day 3:

Cool

Breakfast overlooking the Mediterranean was a distinctive experience. We had a plaid and a fatet of humus with a cup of tea in the shade of the morning sun while listening to Fairouz songs we put in a wonderful mood. Bay Rock Cafe overlooks Beirut Bay from the edge of the cliff down to the cool rock. The sea is great with a huge tunnel located in the Gulf, known by anyone who knows Lebanon.

Visit the city area in the daytime

After breakfast we decided to go downtown again to see it in the morning light. One thing we immediately noticed is that it is still very quiet. Although it was one of our favorite places it seems to still need to be discovered by the rest of the world. It should actually be on the visitor lists.

With a stunning mosque, an hour tower, churches and ancient Roman monuments, the central zone must be visited.

The Jeita Grotto

The Upper Cave

The Jeita Grotto is a marvel of nature hidden in the mountains north of the city. Made up of two completely different but equally stunning. After the car stopped we got our tickets and took the cable car to the entrance to the cave.

The first cave is located in the upper part and is a quiet stroll in the heart of the Dark Mountain. Monumental sculptures with ancient columns pave the way of nature's history. We spent our time looking down to watch the river that disappears in the ground.

The lack of images here is due to strict camera policy. The slippery floor justified this quickly. We put our phones and cameras in a free closet before entering.

The Lower Cave

As soon as we go abroad we took a small train to the lower cave. After putting our phones back we went down simple steps, to find a cave completely flooded. There were boats taking groups of 10 people along the water to explore the cave. It was a great experience to float through the cave beneath the falling water of the cave's armpit.

Sidon

When we returned to the world of the cave. We started driving south to Sidon. Little advice, try to avoid going back to town. Traffic there is insane! Can't even trust the GPS again. After penetrating traffic we headed on the coastal road to the coastal city. The main attraction for us here was the ruins of an ancient fortress overlooking the sea.

She reminded us of the Belém Tower in Lisbon it was fun to explore the castle on the water. There are a few barricades or balustrade, but we have been able to reach the surface and get a wonderful view of the city below.

Saida Restaurant

While we were there, we discovered a perfect restaurant nearby, a restaurant in Saida. Floating directly on the beach was a cool but wonderful experience to sit in the fresh air under the ancient fortress that overlooks the city itself above the waves.

The food was amazing. We started with power, and although I am not a big fan of vegetables I have eaten a lot. The fresh fish was so tasty and the candy that Maram chose was my favourite food from the whole trip.

After eating we went back to Beirut. Late that night I dined a burger from the Smoking bin restaurant. In my opinion it's a burger you shouldn't miss, if you have a chance.

Day 4:

Red Cafe

The end of the journey. Since our trip was not until 3:00, we had plenty of time to enjoy breakfast at the famous Al Hamra café. Eating here is the experience of Beirut as such. More like a movie lounge than a café. Here we found the best way to eat breakfast. We kept the rain from the outer garden, but we enjoyed looking at the pictures of famous artists. And the books kept us busy till the food arrives

After that we went for 25 minutes to reach the airport from Hamra, and we delivered the car at the departure gate.

Tips:

Hire a car: it's relatively cheap and you'll have the freedom of driving, and that's exactly what you need in Lebanon.

Ask your hotel to stop the car. They can find a place to stop the car for you on the street and your car will also be watched.

Staying in Hamra Street is not necessary. If you like coffee, this is the place for you, but cool is much nicer.

Breakfast at the Bayrocks Cafe. The view is the best in Lebanon.

Don't miss the rice. Small advice, when you arrive at a military checkpoint, take the road to the right and go up the hill. The road is much better and shorter.


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