Beirut: Pharmacies. Many shops closed for Armenian remembrance. Quieter. Potholes. Pavement café sandwiches. Blue sky. Soldiers. Machine guns. Mezza feast. Cranes. Funky new apartment blocks. Fresh squeezed, delicious, cold orange juice. Overhead phone lines. Communist Party HQ. Some flowers in pots aren’t real.
Beirut to Zahle: 15 miles to Syria. Tanks. Military check points. Mountains. Fresh mountain-top snow. View of all Beirut. Mediterranean. Local politicians’ posters. Apartment blocks. Steep roads. Crazy driving. Valley views. Vineyards. Cool air. Beirut stand-still traffic. Cars pipping. Pedestrians faster than cars. Mopeds zipping between traffic. Graffiti. Roadside fruit and veg. More traffic. Palm trees. Sunset into the Mediterranean. UN and Unesco 4x4s. No maps; directions from passers-by.
Zahle: Valley. Winding streets. Restored old buildings. Lebanon yellow buildings. Cedar trees in town. Olive trees in town. River. Perfume testing. Park of local poet sculptures. French-style shutters. Steps. View to mountains with Syrian border. Clock towers. Churches. Virgin Mary atop a tower. Mountains. Coffee. Fancy new pavement. Offetory boxes. Syrians.