ARRIVAL and DEPARTURE FORMS
When you are completing your arrival and also your departure forms for Lebanese passport control, DO make an effort to fill in the ADDRESS or PLACE WHERE YOU WERE STAYING ( in departure form) and YOUR CONTACT PLACE/ PERSON ( arrival form) as the officers take this very seriously and they took a long time and scrutinized what I wrote in those places. They continually asked what hotel I stayed at and the address of it. ( I didnt stay at a hotel but I didn't know my friend's address- How could I tell them when there was no real address or street - just some kind of landmark location, etc) so I made up some numbers in a willy nilly way - and the immigration officer, after much delay, scribbled something down on the form and mumbled hesitantly " not a problem" and stamped me out of the country. Kind, approachable people - old neighbourhood feel, cozy neighbourhood streets
The most impressive sunset I have seen yet! This sunset in Beirut was just beautiful. I perpously put the tropical tree in the picture because I just love these trees!!!!. The weather was just perfect and the beautiful orange sky was just wow!
Living in Hamra area
Visiting other countries and cities, I'm always very interested how people build there houses and how they live. In the Hamra area I saw some small courtyards, for drying the laundry, for playing kids, for a chat with the neigbours and many other daily activities nearby the house.
All about the Argileh or Shisha!
There are so many different names for this unique smoking device. Some call it a argileh, nargileh, hookah, water-pipe, shisha, etc. The Argileh (NARGILE as it is known in the Middle East) has been the standard of smoking for centuries in the middle east and originated in Turkey over 500 years ago. HUBBLY BUBBLY smoking is quite common at restaurants and cafes all across the middle east.
This unique smoking experience is rapidly growing in popularity all over the world. Many people love the smooth, flavorful, and cool taste of the smoke. The Shisha) pipes filter the flavored smoke with cool water making each puff oh so sweet!!
Tobacco mixed with fruit molasses and honey is used when smoking out of a shisha. Other names for this include: tabac, tombak, tumbak, gouza, guza, moassel etc. Specifically, the tobacco is a grounded up mixture of dried fruit pulp, flavored molasses, and fresh tobacco leaves. My personal favourite is called 'Two Applies', and is made up of the dried pulp of red and green apples. The tobacco comes in a variety of flavors including apple, apricot, strawberry, mixed fruit, mint, cherry, grape, and the list just goes on and on.
Nargileh's are usually lavishly decorated and can make for a great conversation piece in your home. And it makes for a delightful experience.
Although all smoking is bad for your health, and you should avoid becoming addicted to it but I think it should be an interesting experience to try one :o)
A village in the mountains in Northern Lebanon (central northern). You can get there via car only in the summer, as the road is snowed in during the winter. It is a lovely village perched on what seems the top of the mountains. We were fortunate enough to stay in a friends family's home, Beit Isshak. The home was a stop for noble travelers from the Ottoman Empire and was built in the early 19th century. Tours are provided by many of the residences in Douma and you just have to ask (Arabic usually necessary!) Beit Issak was quite an attraction with period furnishings and Art, over the weekend several groups stopped by for tours!
Walking the village is a must, they have a Greek Sarcophagus in the town center which was the burial place of a 4th century priest, and other late Roman and Byzantine remains as well as a Monastery and a couple of must see churches all with the lovely Lebanese Architecture of stone and red-roofs seen through-out the village.
The website is loaded with information as well as directions, festivals, and activities. There is a hotel in Douma and it is quite pretty with great views ( Grand Hotel Douma Phone: +961 6 520202)- all the information needed is on the site (available in English too). Trekking and hiking are popular and you could even camp. Click on "about Douma" then go to information - http://www.doumaclub.org/main.asp?id1=left_nav&id2=aboutdouma_index