I’m pretty sure I’ve eaten my weight in hummus and kafta after five days in Beirut!
One of my boyfriend’s friends was getting married and my man was eager to show me his “homeland” through his eyes. I had only been there once before as a friend’s “+1” for a wedding, but the trip had been a manic, 48-hour whirlwind and I have been repeatedly told by my boyfriend how that trip wasn’t even the tip of the Lebanese iceberg.
The boy was right.
I had always known that my other half was a history and politics buff, but being there, I realized how difficult it would be for a Beiruti not to be! In a country that’s so central to the oldest civilizations on the globe, one that has been built and destroyed and rebuilt countless times by different powers, the melting pot of religion and culture can’t help but peak your curiosity. At the risk of dribbling on into gory details about which civilization conquered who and when, west versus east Beirut, or this Jihad and that… I will digress. Take my word, though, driving through the streets you honestly do feel the rich history and diversity.
If you’re planning a trip to Beirut make sure you see all attributes of the country. We drove over Mount Lebanon down to the flats of the Bekaa Valley, but not without stopping to view the iconic cedars of the Shouf Cedar Reserve, the beautiful city of Deir el Qamar and the ornate Beiteddine Palace, Even right in Beirut the traffic-slammed city is just moments away from fun beach clubs. A major highlight for me was swimming from a local spot called Sporting out to Pigeon‘s Rock… which definitely earned me my ice cold Almaza!
And boy, do the Lebanese know how to party! It’s been a while since I’ve had to order a late night greasy snack, but I will tell you, fries with hummus and a lamb kebab at 4am definitely beats your local dollar slice. Even better when being eaten in a floor-length gown and men’s tuxedo jacket in the midst of a giggle fit.
Although we packed these days full, there is still so much left to discover in Beirut. I can’t wait to go back for another visit!