RandyLeGrant's Travel Journals

RandyLeGrant

 
What is the most interesting thing you learned in another culture?

People are all the same. They want to be happy.

  • 68 years old
  • From Oklahoma, United States
  • Currently in Connecticut, United States

Middle East in December

I am the Executive Director at GeoVisions. I'm in Amman, Jordan tonight and will be here through Wednesday. I'm then headed to Damascus and then Beirut to check up on our volunteers and tutors and and visit our projects.

Day 6-Friday in Beirut

Lebanon Beirut, Lebanon  |  Dec 17, 2010
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 Driving from Damascus, Syria to Beirut, Lebanon is a study in contrasts. We drove on black ice, through snow covered mountains and then descended from the mountains of Syria through Lebanon viewing Beirut, situated on the Mediterranean Sea. 

Departing Syria takes as long as entering.  The guards at the border looked through each page of my passport and mine is a passport with additional pages stitched inside.  It took awhile.  But finally I was given the go ahead to leave.

A few miles down the road I had to stop and get stamped to enter Lebanon.  Now, these two countries don't care much for each other, so of course I had to answer a lot of questions about why I was in Syria and what I was doing there.  But after about a 5 minute interview, I was allowed to pass and head back to the car.

Driving on the snow covered roads was time consuming and then we headed down the mountain roads winding our way towards Beirut.  The view of Beirut from the mountains, as it lies next to the Mediterannean Sea is a view every traveler must see at least once.  Just stunning.

I arrived Beirut and headed for the office.  Sadly, my day was spent in the office and although I had a great view of the Sea...I still wanted to get out there and experience Beirut.

Around 5:00 p.m. I headed for my hotel.  Only 5 miles away, the trip by car took an hour thanks to all of the traffic.  Once checked in, I headed for downtown Beirut.

After the destructive Lebanese civil war, Beirut underwent major reconstruction and the redesigned historic city centre, marina, pubs and nightlife districts have once again rendered it a tourist attraction. Beirut was named the top place to visit in 2009 by The New York Times.  It was also listed as one of the ten liveliest cities in the world by Lonely Planet in 2009.

The photos in this journal of Beirut were taken in the dark, because that is how I saw Beirut.  Still, I hope you agree with me that it is one of the most beautiful cities in the Middle East.

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