Beirut and Nabatieh Day 3 – postcard

Falafel for lunchBright buildingnormal street sceneAround the flea marketBeirut: fruit and veg stalls.  Tens of antique shops.  Potholes.  Traffic.  Market food tasting.  Cats.  Flowers.  Falafel.  Fresh mint lemonade.  Exterior curtains.  Syrian refugees.  Derelict buildings.  Druze HQ.  Interesting people.  Good coffee.  Football on TVs in bars.   Flash flood.  Cars pipping.   Huge modern buildings.  Birds.  Frenetic. Trees.

Drive from Beirut to Nabatieh: Challenging.  Road-kill cats.  Undertaking.  Overtaking.  Cutting up.  Pipping.  Military check points.  Mountains.  Hezbollah.  Smelly tunnels.  Fast traffic.  Barbed wire.  Absolutely no sense of Highway Code.  Eating fresh roadside-bought broad beans and peas.  Lemon trees.  Banana palms.  Mediterranean Sea.  Ugly new-build blocks.  Football stadia.  Machine guns.  Thoroughly unroadworthy vehicles.  Range Rovers.  One-way roads as two-way roads.

Nabatieh: Calm.  Strong, good street coffee pot coffee.  Mountains.  Ayatollah Khomeini posters.  FreshCentral roundabout area of NabatiehMy two guides and vegetable expertfruit and vegetables.  Markets.  Spice shops.  Food smells.  Baklava.  Gifts of food.  Hezbollah.  Sumac tasting.  Hilly, winding streets.  Crumbling buildings.  SpicesUnconventional roundabouts.  Gold for sale.  Artisans.  Iran influence.  (Unthreatening to us) groups watching their patch.  Big houses up mountainside.  Local politician posters.  Military check points.  Birds.  Lovely people.  Spices.