Beirut and Zahle Day 5 – postcard

Abu Naim, Hamra, Beirut. Mixed mezza

Lots of interesting features to modern buildingsAround the Armenian area of BeirutBeirut: 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.

View from the Beirut-Damascus highway across Bekaa Valley to Syria over the mountains

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.  Mount Lebanon

Across Zahle to the mountains beyond which is Syria

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. Oldest winery in Lebanon with 2km Roman cavesFancy new pavement. Offetory boxes.  Syrians.

Old Zahle house with ubiquitous stepsView from one side of Zahle across to the other