A couple months ago, we went on a weekend getaway to Lebanon. Lebanon had been on my list for pretty much my entire stint in Kuwait and I was super excited. Rob had been to Beirut before on a ladsladslads weekend, but went along with my desire to visit.
We flew in on MEA which is Lebanon’s airline. It’s a pretty nice flight! Nothing to complain about really. Once we landed, we went through customs and straight to the car hire counter that we had booked weeks in advance, along with portable WiFi so we wouldn’t get lost. Turns out the WiFi was a no go and I wasn’t all that keen on doing a rental because I had heard about the traffic in Beirut and didn’t want us to stress on this trip. We decided to leave the hire car and took a taxi. The hotel we booked wasn’t awful but wasn’t really what we had envisioned. Oh well. It was close to Hamra street where all the happenings happen, so it worked out nicely.
Because we had gotten in so late, we decided to have a chill day wandering the city of Beirut. It is such a walkable city. Yea, it’s a bit hilly, but not awful and I love to walk when in a new city – it’s just the best way to get the vibe of a new place and to see more! We found a great sheesha cafe on the cliffs overlooking Pigeon Rock. Oh, it was a stunner! That evening we met up with some friends I worked with and went to Ferdinand’s off Hamra Street. The food was delicious, the drinks were delicious, the atmosphere was delicious. The chef came out and helped us order their top food and was very friendly!
The second day, we met up with our friends and drove to Jeitta Grotto (SO COOL!), Our Lady of Lebanon (VERY HIGH UP!), Byblos, and the Phoenician Wall (wayyyy cooler than it sounds). The Grotto, we got to very early on in the day which worked out in our benefit for sure! By the time we were finished exploring the caves, the queue at the entrance was way long. Our Lady of Lebanon is a statue of a lady on a hill. It’s neat, the cable cars make it way neat, although frighteningly high up in the sky. The views were spectacular! The stairs (because we were told we had to pay extra for the funicular *not true*) were so super fun to walk up. Byblos was probably my favorite part of the day. I loved the souk! (I always love the souk) and I really enjoyed sitting outside in the middle of the souk, eating and smoking sheesha. The castle ruins were really cool, but the view was the winner winner chicken dinner. The Phoenician Wall was not something all four of us wanted to do, but our history buff was super keen, so we said, “OOkkkaaayyy.” It turned out way better than any of us thought! It’s like a wall that was built in the water to stop the waves from the Mediterranean from crashing onto the village and I can’t really describe what it was like well. It was amazing.
On our final full day in Lebanon, we took the streets of Beirut again. We conquered the National Museum, the sheesha cafe (again), the boulders near Pigeon Rock, and Mar Mikhael to find the colorful stairs (which were a bit tricky to find for a second)!
All in all, we really enjoyed Lebanon. All four of us sang nothing but praise for our time in Lebanon. I would definitely recommend going and would definitely go back!