miércoles, 9 de febrero de 2011

Hiking away

Here I am once again (like in the song), trying to convey the awesomeness of Lebanon.
If you get a bit bored of the traffic and urban life in Beirut, and going skiing is definitely not an option if you don't want to spend 3 hours seating in traffic, you always have the choice of going hiking.

Yes Lebanon, or Lubnan as you would pronounce it in Lebanese Arabic, comes from the word "lbn" which means "white", a reference to the snow-capped mountains. There are lots of hikes you can do in Lebanon, and this weekend was the first time I went on an organized trip to do one with some friends.

We used Lebtreck , a good company to book some day trips leaving from Beirut to discover Lebanon. I heard that Cyclamen is a good company too, but I have personally not travelled with them.

So the day starts early on Sunday (maybe a deterrent for some), and the first stop is a small shop where you get a Manoushe (best food evaaaaa) before starting your hike. Then you travel on a very, very, very, very (OK, did I convey my discomfort?) narrow road in the mountain till you reach 1000 m of altitude.

As we arrived to the mountain near Jbeil (sorry, I forgot the name) , we discovered, just like that, without any notice, some Greek ruins! I don't know about you, but I personally don't associate Lebanon with Greece. Well, I guess it's time for me to review my history books, since they were here, no doubt about it:

We kept walking and came across some water falls that had muddy water, which at some points looked red. The legend says that the river, called Nahr Ibrahim, turns red because of Adonis' blood, who was killed by a wild boar.

Adonis was in love with Aphrodite/Venus, and there was some pretty cool drama going on there, so I recommend the story. An interesting fact is that Beirut was named after their daughter, Berytos.

After walking for 3 hours, in the mountain, we were all satisfied with the amazing sightseeing, the fresh air, and also our workout (hey, it wasn't easy, believe me, especially not for a city girl like me!).

To close, we had a late lunch at a family's house in a village in the mountain who, for about 10 bucks, cooked for us an amazing meal of rice with chicken (djej w roz), Fatoush (awesome salad with pitta bread), hummus (the real deal), little sausages, and loads of fruit. Knock your socks strong coffee was of course the perfect concluding step to an awesome meal and weekend.

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