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Lighting out for the territory nce more in the Middle East. The more I travel the more I want to travel and the longer that I am out of England the happier I am. At present in Iraq and having a wonderful time. really fallen in love with the country and the people. Very glad I came and

Beirut is a hoot.

LEBANON | Monday, 15 February 2010 | Views [242]

Changed buses at the Cola intersection last year and thought Beirut was too huge, too much for me. In reality it is manageable and - may I say? - cute.

Stayed at the friendly and cheap backpacker hangout, the Talal Hotel in east Beirut and the first night was a nightmare with drunken kids shouting and having a good time and playing music till 4 am. Including the harmonica. ever tried to sleep after travelling all day and someone is playing the harmonica? Uh-huh. At 4.30 I gave up and got up for coffee. They promptly went to bed then leaving me caffeined and cross. This is Beirut, I thought. Maybe tomorrow we go shopping. After all, if you cannot buy a gun here, where can you? and with that comforting thought for the morrow I went back to bed. The next night all was calm thanks to the manager and shopping did not happen. (btw all of that is a JOKE.)

Next day was Valentine's day and Chinese New Year and the anniversary of the assassination of the ex-Prime Minister, Mr Hariri. I visited his flower covered grave and then there was a huge...remembrance? celebration? gathering in Place des Martyrs.Heavy security even a tank, none of which I photographed, honest. Thousands of Lebanese with flags, speeches, jumping up and down, music, more flags and some dancing. Terrific fun. People speak of him with real affection and certainly his photograph shows a pleasant face. I am favourably impressed by the huge photographs of various politicians you see everywhere in Beirut. They look like a pleasant, clear-eyed honest bunch - unlike the shifty lot with which we in England are burdened. However...I digress.

Visited Downtown, tres chic; Acharifieh, tres Christian. Cafe, tres fort, tres bien.Ended up staying for several days but enough is enough and the historic town of Tyre is next.

Tags: coffee, flags, politics

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