Monday, May 24, 2010

Beirut

We stayed outside of Beirut in the Btebiat-Hammana Valley in a town called Deir El Harf.  We tried to find a short-cut to Beirut and our new, fast route only took us 2 hours (remember - we are only staying 30 miles east of Beirut)!  We are having a difficult navigating through the hills, valleys and the signs that are only in Arabic.

How funny is this - the same name of the park that I walk in each morning in Paris!

Tom in front of The American University of Beirut


Pigeon Rocks - Beirut's famous natural offshore arches

We signed up for a 5 hour walking tour of Beirut with a Lebanese guide.  We met next to this huge banyan tree at the entrance of  the American University of Beirut.

A beautifully restored apartment building



The effects of Lebanon's civil war (from 1975 until 1990) can be seen throughout the city.  This building, which was a Holiday Inn, is located just blocks away from the apartment building pictured above.  The Holiday Inn had just opened a few weeks prior to the start of the civil war.  This hotel quickly became a prime sniper position.  The owners of this building cannot decide what they want to do with this building (keep it as a hotel or use it for another purpose), so it stands as a painful reminder of the war.

Our tour guide, Ronnie, showing us the ruins of a Roman Bath.

Since the French troops arrived in Lebanon in the late 1800's and stayed until the early 1900's, there are many streets names that are French.

A nice pedestrian area at the Place de L'Etoile

Rafiq Hariri, former Prime Minister, was killed in February 2005.

His remains are buried in the white tent which is next to the Mohammed al-Amin Mosque.

4 comments:

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Dawn.. Yes how funny is that, you go to Beirut and see Bois de Boulogne... your walking parc :-) and notice Place de Etoile .

I cannot believe a 5 hour walking tour .. !

Enjoy x

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Beautiful place with a turbulent history...

Leesa said...

OMG!! I'm lovin' your pics!!!! Yayy!!!

Rosina at Middle Ageless said...

Fabulous pics and I am learning a lot. I had no idea there were Roman ruins in the Lebanon (but, why not?) The architecture is just beautiful...