Old town of Jounieh

Jounieh could be summarised as a collection of ill-assorted concrete shapes lining a motorway and littering a whole hillside. But in the old town of Jounieh, a lot of the lovely old buildings are being beautifully renovated.

old Jounieh still old



old Jounieh now new

And there’s a lot of work in progress.

renovation underway

A river runs through it

Driving around on the way to Baskinta we crossed this wonderful valley with its gentle terracing, the shining stream at the bottom, the footbridge over, and the stone hut underneath.

near Baskinta

footbridge in the valley

I’m sure if a troll lived here, he’d be the most good-natured troll around.

near Baskinta 2


Hard as nails

We thought we were quite brave going up in the cable car to Harissa with a baby. This tin bucket looks scarier.

harissa church

I can just imagine the soundtrack: Rj3a, rj3a!

These guys are just fearless.

harissa church construction

here am I sitting in a tin can

And here’s what they are working on. The modern church behind the monument-chapel is said to have been designed as a cross between a cedar and a Phoenician ship.

modern church architecture

I'm floating in a most peculiar way

I guess the upside is that they have an even better view than us.

Harissa cable car

view from the cable car

Goodbye summer

Autumn moved in on the Levant with great aplomb last week. No hesitation, no second thoughts. Just gusty winds and earth-shaking thunderstorms. So I thought I’d take a moment to celebrate the tail end of the summer sun just a couple of weeks ago.

fishing off the Corniche, Beirut

fishing off the Corniche

Strictly speaking this was already autumn, but as it was warmer than most summers in my hometown, I can’t quite call it that.

cats on the coast, Corniche, Beirut

cats on the coast

Catnapping until the next catch comes in.

building up their tan, Corniche, Beirut

building up their tan

Off with the heavy boots and out with the magazine – these guys know how to let go of daily cares.

the little things, Corniche, Beirut

the little things

Although it only takes a few minutes to get to the Corniche from anywhere in Beirut, I’ve tagged this post “day trips“. You really could spend all day there, sharing the thrill of the tug on that hook, popping wheelies on a bike from the hire shop, and watching the broadest spectrum of diversity Lebanon has to offer.

There’s a great pastry shop opposite the Grand Café, Pâtisserie Ghazi Al Hallab & Fils, on the Raouche end, or you can get a slightly pricey lunch or dinner at Casablanca on the downtown end.