Lebanon, the middle eastern country where Lynn paternal family originated from. She felt like she was going back to her roots. She was excited about experiencing Lebanon in all its grand.
She was still close to Lebanon from meals cooked at home and the customs her family followed but it wasn’t enough for her. There was much more that she wanted to experience. Her American passport made it easy for her to experience this as she got her visa on arrival.
On the Mediterranean coast, bordered by Israel by the south and Syria to the north and east, Lebanon awaited Lynn. Her visa was for a month and was extendable up to two. She booked an Uber to the city centre that cost her somewhere between seven to ten dollars.
The airport provided her with thirty minutes of free Wifi that helped her use the app. She could have also booked the taxi prior to her arrival this would cost her nearly twenty to twenty five dollars.
The currency used in Lebanon was Lebanese pound and one US dollar was equal to 1100 Lebanese pounds. She often carried cash as ATMs weren’t easily available to withdraw money.
She had three options to travel one was to book a group travel, the other to get a personal driver to take her around and the last one was to rent a car herself. She thought of doing that but on the other hand most of them were manual transmissions and she was used to automatic transmission. She chose to get a personal driver to show her around.
Lucky for her she had taken French lessons in school because it was one of the commonly spoken languages in the country. She could speak English but her Arabic wasn’t upto the mark.
English was commonly used in Beirut but outside of the cities and in the rural areas , it was going to be difficult. Arabic and French were really common there.
As she travelled across the country she got a warm feeling, a feeling that she belonged here. It wasn’t like she didn’t feel the same in America. She was very happy there.But, here in Lebanon she could easily blend in. She felt an odd air of familiarity when she visited the tourist sites. Some documented by her are.
Maaser El Chouf Nature Reserve: She explored the multiple kinds of trees, plants, and birds amidst a backdrop of a view of the Beqaa Valley.
The Mir Amin Palace (also known as the Beiteddine Palace) is a palace built at the beginning of the 19th century by Emir Bechir Chehab II and showcases classic Lebanese architecture at the time.
Baalbek: Baalbek is home to the largest freestanding Roman structure outside of the Roman Coliseum – the Temple of Jupiter. The structure is stunning and awe-inspiring.
She didn’t exactly feel safe here because of the close proximity to Syria and the recent terror attacks.
After visiting these amazing spots Lynn was overwhelmed. The excitement for the next day and more adventures that were to come had built up too much excitement in her. She needed a break. She needed to relax.
Where did she her to relax in Lebanon? Well, Lebanon had a lot to offer when it come to nightlife. She started off with
Iris Rooftop: The Iris Rooftop was a party every night without fail. She got started on the early side as bar service is available in the center of the floor and table service encircling the outside. She sipped on her drinks while watching the night view of the Beirut skyline and hearing the Mediterranean waves lap onshore.
She then moved onto
B018: It was formerly a bomb shelter, B018 is now one of the best clubs in Beirut, where party people of all ages congregate after 2AM. The ceiling of the bunker opens on clear nights every so often and lets in fresh air. The velvet covered walls, house tunes blasting, and table service lining the bunker made this a not-to-miss on her trip!
Difficulties she faced in Lebanaon:
Lynn faced a few difficulties that you might face in Lebanon as well
Getting a sim card-
Buying a SIM card or data was an extremely complicated process that took a lot of time and paperwork. Some bars and cafes offered free internet as well as most hotels. She was comfortable without continuous internet access, this type of intermittent access allowed her to accomplish most things.
How To Dress –
Lynn noticed the clothing norms in Beirut was very western, and oftentimes she saw girls in high heels and dressed to the nines for a night out. But she avoided tank tops, mini-skirts and shorts when she traveled across the outskirts and rural areas.
Lynn traveled across Lebanon and enjoyed every bit of her trip. The country had a lot to offer.
It truly was the gem of the middle east. The palace,the forests, the historic sites and the bars all of them made her journey complete.
Have you ever been to Lebanon or would you like to visit it sometime?
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Author: The Brown Nomad
Also published on Medium.