The new journey has just started. I can’t quite believe I’ve just had a little walk along the Corniche in Beirut, some Pigeon Rock shots and then a sobering reminder of what war, disaster ( remember the Port explosion), economic strife and corruption has done to a once vibrant city and to its people.
I’ve visited Lebanon a few times but in the 15 years since I’ve been here it’s quite different now. An air of neglect hangs over the city, women and children begging every few steps along the Corniche, battered old cars but an obvious disparity between rich and poor as in the space of 10 mins I counted at least 10 Range Rovers driving past.
One wonders how they are affordable in a country where 6 drinks were billed at 1,440,000 lebanese pounds!! To have paid by euro debit card would have cost 90 euro, but if we found an exchange to change euro into dollars the bill would be $25.00….The OH exchanged the euro in a side of the road exchange and the dollars were paid, phew, need to have your wits about you! And best not to wonder how the luxury cars are bought methinks!
The wine was lovely, white for me and red for the OH from the Kasara vineyard, but excessive at 90 euro, reasonable at $25! I’ve never had a million pound bill before, kept for posterity!
The reason for the Beirut overnight stop is that we have chosen to travel to Dubai using Middle East Airlines as we can buy extra bags on the return journey up to 30kg each for under 50 euros and we have a box of shell books to bring back to Cyprus, kindly gifted to us on our last visit to Muscat.
The use of MEA instead of our usual EK plus a night in the Lancaster Raouche hotel, free airport transfer and a decent room and breakfast has saved 300 euro each.As we are not time constricted, why not, a night in a different city is always interesting!
Some shots from the city…