Even though it’s in the Middle East, Lebanon is definitely NOT a desert. I don’t think there’s even any desert in the whole country. And here’s some proof for you:
A couple weeks ago I tagged along an AUB (American University of Beirut) International Student Group trip with a couple of people I know taking classes there on a hiking drip down Qadisha Valley. I was wearing sandals of course, so I got some weird looks and the hike leader told me it would be difficult for me not wearing sneakers. Except I was the only one who was able to take my shoes off and stick them in the nice, cool river rushing along the valley. I don’t even own sneakers…and I don’t see any reason why I should get any.
It was really relaxing, being in a lush green forest again was so refreshing, especially considering the difference in air quality between the valley and Beirut. Near the beginning of our walk we visited a Maronite Christian convent and an church from back when the Maronites took refuge in the valley.
At first I thought this was the Blablabla tree…and then I just realized it was a no talking allowed sign. Oops.
We ended up at a restaurant and had a good mezze lunch before driving up to Bcharre (where Ski de Nuit a couple months back) to visit the Khalil Gibran Museum. This guy was a great artist, but he was all sorts of crazy, having his coffin on display in the basement. To each his own, I suppose.
On the way back to Beirut we stopped to get some ice cream (yes!) and saw some interesting things to see and play with…
I really want to do some more hiking after this, especially in the Chouf Cedar Reserve. It’s all about keeping an eye out for opportunities at this point.