Boo-m! Knowing Lebanon's troubled history it can feel like that sound may be heard anytime without advance notice. There are pockmarked buildings in the city center and elsewhere from past conflicts. Yet, the city rises again, like Phoenix, repeatedly. Apt for the people descended from the Phoenicians. The small beautiful nation has a lot to offer. From sandy beaches to snow-covered peaks, from churches/mosques to Roman/Greek/ancient ruins, from quaint cafes to cornershops hawking pizzas. My travel buddies then - two French sisters - made the trip a lot of fun. We traveled together hitchhiking all over Syria and Lebanon for a month. Getting the Lebanese Visa hadn't been easy. I failed to get it in Tehran, Iran, but eventually got it in Ankara, Turkey but only after I could get a 3-month extension of my Turkish visa. On the other hand, getting a double-entry visa at the friendly Syrian embassy in Tehran had been a cakewalk. We entered Lebanon overland from Syria & returned to Syria. This was before the start of the current civil war there. The highlight of the Lebanon visit was hitching a ride in a 1960s big fin vintage car (Cadillac ?) in deep snow and making it to the mountain town of Beit-ed-Dine. The young driver, a Druid, offered us a place to stay in his lavish apartment on the lake. It felt like Christmas with the knee-deep snow around. A far cry from the troubles of Beirut. Happy Halloween!
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