Day trips from Beirut
When going to a place I want to see more than just one city. Recently when I was in Beirut on a city trip for four days we decided to do one excursion day. We scanned the market of available tours but didn’t found anyone that suited our preferences so we created our own one. Easy. Our main mean of transportation was Uber cars and one driver we talked to was good in English (don’t count on that everyone speaks English in Lebanon) so we asked him about taking us on a full day tour so we got his Whatsapp number and arranged everything over the app. Ten minutes before 9 am – as agreed – he was waiting for us in the lobby at our hotel to take us out from the busy streets of Beirut. It all started with an hour and a half at the highway that was created alongside the ocean. We got to see the real Beirut. Busy traffic where the drivers were driving as they liked. I wouldn’t rent a car and drive myself there. On the top of the crazy traffic road names barely exists and navigating through an unknown place without any signs pinpointing your location would be a nightmare to me. But if you are really adventurous go for it. The Uber ride for a whole day cost us 120 USD so wasn’t that bad.
Our first destination was the city of Harissa. Or more the mountain of Harissa. We are all suckers for great views so of course one stop were at the highest point where we could have panorama views of the coast. Our driver took us to a cable car at a mountain. A place which all of us really liked. The ride took about 15 minutes one way and went from the mountain top to another city just at the coast. It looked it was quite newly built just standing there waiting for tourists. The views were amazing. At the top of Harissa a historical monument of Lady of Lebanon were also located. A lady looking like a construction reminding about the Christ statue in Rio and Statue of Liberty in NYC. After this trip I can also add Lady of Lebanon to people I climbed up to. On the way back to the highway we passed a beautiful cathedral, Saint Paul but after seeing 100eds of churches in our lives we didn’t went into that one.
Next stop at our trip were the city of Byblos. An ancient city with rich history. That lecture we didn’t went to but instead we headed to the harbor and explored the touristy harbor area and the UNESCO heritage listed neighborhood which we all fell in love with. We had pizza for lunch in a lushy garden and in the afternoon we had a good serve of coffee in another garden setting. We strolled around in the tourist shops and sat down at the pier looking at the locals fishing and saw a couple getting married. It was a great and relaxing day with 100% sunny weather and 24 degrees. Since the amount of western tourists wasn’t that many you could easily recognize them and such a coincidence when we walked into a Dutch couple we met the day before at our exploring tour in Mar Michael, Beirut. That was actually one of the fun things with being a tourist in Lebanon at this time of the year – all Western tourists became like old friends saying hi to each other when meeting on the streets. Doesn’t happen in NYC. Does happen at Tahiti though. Well, our excursion day was a great choice and if you go to Lebanon and end up staying in Beirut you should definitely go out of the city to see something more. There are hills to ski in during the winter (was still snow in April), wine yards to taste wine at, grottos to visit, nature to explore – see the world they said!
/ Pernilla that loves the exploring life