Photos :: Mir Amin :: Beiteddine

Finally back from my fabulous trip to Lebanon! I got to play tour guide to friends who were visiting for the first time, and together we discovered cities I'd never been to before. We took a ton of pictures. So many pictures that I'll be posting them in separate posts.

I ended up attending two weddings instead of just one, and toured cities along the coast as far south as Tyre, to Tripoli in the north. We spent most of our time in Beirut and only went up to the mountains four times: first to visit grandma, next to the official marriage ceremony (on the Wednesday before the wedding), Saturday for the wedding, and then a few days later to visit family in the villages.

Driving around Beirut is really really really crazy and mountain driving totally wears me out. I lived there for 7 years, but only started driving in the last 3 years because I had no other choice. I lived by the American University in West Beirut, and my job was in Achrafieh in East Beirut. Getting around the city is really cheap but to cross from east to west (or the reverse) is really difficult since many taxi drivers refuse to go there, and others want to charge you more. East and West Beirut is divided by the infamous Green Line, which is now packed with the most popular bars and clubs and also were many people go to hang out at night. So many ironies.

One of the highlights of the trip was getting to ride with a friend in her convertible smart car. What an awesome car! Unfortunately, there are really no traffic rules there, and right-of-way is directly proportional to how large your car is and how fast you're moving. But what respect she lost in size she gained in sympathy: some drivers were scared to hit her tiny car so they would often let her go first.

Above are some photos of Mir Amin, a palace (and now hotel) in the Chouf mountains, along tbe same road as the Beiteddine presidential summer palace. This is where we went for lunch after my brother's official marriage ceremony, but traditionally the couple isn't "married" until the cake is cut on their wedding night.

Here are some photos of the Beiteddine palace taken during our last trip in December. In the summer this space gets transformed into a stage for the yearly Beiteddine festival.

I've got so many e.mails and posts to catch up on! It seems like years since I've blogged! My bloglines is going completely insane!


Miss Priss Knits said...

The pictures are Wonderful! Thank you for sharing your trip experience:)

Reya Mellicker said...

LOVE the pics and the stories. When you get over jet lag, let's get together. Sounds like a fantastic trip!