Paris of the Middle East

Beirut is often referred to as the Paris of the Middle East, and for me it is. The capital of Lebanon, it’s a great city for shopping socialising, and sightseeing. Despite being through a civil war and unrest, the city has been rebuilt several times, with modern architecture sharing space with Ottoman and colonial French buildings. Bustling streets such as those in Hamra and Ashrafieh provide a hopping nightlife.

Beirut downtown which was rebuilt in French architectural style.

 

Beirut has magnificent restaurants, with delicious traditional Lebanese food. It has a very rich culture.

I had a long walk by the Corniche. I contemplated beautiful views.

When I was exploring the Corniche, I stopped at the Riviera Beach Club. It was a really nice way to spend the day enjoying the views of the Mediterranean Sea. In Beirut there are lots of beach clubs. I did not see many public beaches.

I also did a day trip to the Jeita Grotto. The Jeita Grotto is a compound of two separate but interconnected karstic limestone caves spanning an overall length of nearly 9 kilometers (5.6 mi). The caves are situated in the Nahr al-Kalb valley within the locality of Jeita, 18 kilometres (11 mi) north of the Lebanese capital Beirut. Though inhabited in prehistoric times, the lower cave was not rediscovered until 1836 by Reverend William Thomson; it can only be visited by boat since it channels an underground river that provides fresh drinking water to more than a million Lebanese.

I was not allowed to take pictures inside the caves, but it was amazing in there. It is like being on another planet. It must be a visited.

You need to get on a cable car to go there.

Another place that I visited after the Jeita Grotto was Biblos. It is a little town not very far out of Beirut, and can be seen just after visiting the cave.

It’s a beautiful fishing Village. Byblos was the chief harbour for the export of cedar and other valuable wood to Egypt. It soon became a great trading centre.

 

Beirut is one of my favourite cities. People are helpful and friendly over there.

 

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