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Paul & Luiza´s World Tour

Lebanon - Beirut

LEBANON | Sunday, 12 September 2010 | Views [989]

Lebanon - Destination Beirut – the problem with high expectations…

We take a shared taxi to Beirut and the trip is nice, the Lebanon visa is free for a month and we have high expectations for the place.  Off to a bad start, the taxi driver from Syria tells us we need to pay for another passenger as we came with only 3 people.  He said we agreed to pay more but we really don’t think so.  Things get really nasty, we threaten to call the police, the guy is so rude, we end up paying but really pissed off.

I told him he’s going to hell and that that it’s bad money for him.  We pay after an awful start to Beirut.  Want more?  All the decent hotels are busy mostly because of the end of Eid, but some are full for 3 months!  So, we walk around with our backpacks till a local guy helps  us to find the Hawaii Towers, a terrible old and not so clean place (most rooms are booked for 3 months!) and finally got a room.  After a while, we have to give it to the place, the sea views are great, the cable tv, the best and the shower has  a proper showerhead!  We go out and get 2 bottles of wine (yeah, it was a 2 bottle day…) and chill trying to forget the whole taxi incident.

Next morning we go out to explore Beirut, did I mention we are paying Paris prices here?  Everything is so expensive and new, designer labels everywhere, new buildings everywhere, almost nothing left of old Beirut, a bit of a letdown after old Damascus and all the heritage stuff we saw in Greece, Turkey and Syria.  Sorry, we like really old stuff as we both come from new countries… some places reminded us of East Perth…  We walk around the new town and it’s all nice and beautiful and clean, but all new and not a lot of soul. 

Can you believe it, 3 shoddy Euros for a small cup of warm coffee?  Get us outta here fast!  But not so fast, we decided to stay a bit longer (don’t we always?) and explore a bit more.

We took around 6 photos of Lebanon, very symptomatic… the following day we try to go and see a few places outside of Beirut. We take a minibus and, an hour later of very intense traffic and clouds of pollution, we give up going to the bus stop and go back to the nasty hotel.  Yeah, officially giving up on Lebanon, we pack our bags and head off back to Syria and then Jordan.


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