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  • Day131


    December 13, 2019 in Lebanon ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Arrivée à Bcharré, toujours sous la pluie. On rentre se réchauffer dans un resto où on tombe sur des gens du coin qui nous invitent à partager un verre d'arak. Ça tombe à pic ! En ce moment c'est dur pour les hôtels et les restos, ils n'ont quasiment pas de clients et pas de réservations pour la période des fêtes à cause de la révolution.

    Visite du Musée Gibran, où nous découvrons les peintures et dessins de celui qu'on connaissait surtout comme auteur. Des brouillons en anglais, français, arabe côtoient quelques objets personnels et une belle bibliothèque. Soirée arak 😯
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    Magali Belzanne

    Ne le demandez pas pourquoi mais j’adore cette photo....

    Khalid J

    Pourquoi adorez-vous cette photo ?

    Magali Belzanne

    Elle représente pour moi une ouverture, une invitation sur un ailleurs mystérieux 😊

    Marie F

    C'est troublant car c'est justement là la région du poète mystique Khalil Gibran :)

  • Day13


    December 3, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C

    Lebanon's largest city and capital is, like most cities in this region, a former important Phoenician city and port. It has been inhabited for at least 5,000 years, and had been known as the Paris of the Middle East.
    In recent years the history had been far more tragic, from 15 years of civil war to the bombing of the marine barracks to the explosion at the port just a few months ago. Yet even with all that, it is still a lovely city in a beautiful and safe country. I can continue to say that have not felt threatened or unsafe anywhere in my travels.
    The 1st picture is St. George's Maronite Cathedral that dates to the late 19th century. It is based on Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. While there, I heard the afternoon Muslim call to prayer. The 2nd picture is taken from the door of St. George's, looking at the mosque next door. This is Lebanon today: Muslim, Christian, Druze and even a small population of Jewish people living together. I love it.
    The mosque was financed by Rafik Hariri before he was assassinated and then completed by his son.
    The 3rd picture is Martyrs' Square, the central square of Beirut. It is named for those killed by the Ottomans in world war 1.
    The 4th picture is the I love Beirut sign with an ancient Muslim prayer hall in the background.
    The 5th picture is Pigeon Rocks, a well known formation located at the western extreme of the peninsula Beirut is located on. The picture is taken from the corniche, the very beautiful seaside walk. One legend says that these rocks are the remains of the sea monster Perseus killed to saved Andromeda.
    The 6th picture is a glance at the devastation resulting from the explosion on 4 August. This was taken from the road along the coast and doesn't capture the damage across the road. I admit, it's ugly.
    In spite of all that, Beirut remains a vibrant city. Like all of Lebanon, it is worth a visit
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  • Day13

    Jeita grotto

    December 3, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

    This is a set of 2 interconnected caves north of Beirut. They are limestone karst caves. That is, they are formed by dissolving the limestone by water passing through.
    The upper cave is among the mist beautiful i have seen, and it claims the largest known stalactite in the world. Unfortunately, photography is not allowed in the upper cave.
    The lower cave is toured by boat as the cave is flooded, except, that is, in winter or other times of high water when none of it is accessible. These pictures are all in the lower cave.
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  • Day13

    Basilica of St. Paul

    December 3, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    This is a Melkite Greek Catholic Church located near the Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon (see Harissa post). It only dates to the late 20th century, but is very clearly done in the Byzantine architectural style. Of particular interest here is that the mosaics seek to gather in all of the various form of the eastern church. There are Greek, Maronite, and Slavic saints portrayed in the mosaics, and they claim to have the very 1st mosaic of St. John Paul.
    The 1st picture is of the building, showing the architectural style. The 2nd and 3rd pictures are of the main doors. These carvings are scenes from the life of St. Paul.
    The 4th picture is the nave. If you look closely, you'll see saints from many traditions among the mosaics. The 5th picture is a small side chapel, and the last picture is the interior of the dome.
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  • Day13


    December 3, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    This is the pilgrimage site of the shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Lebanon. The shrine is an 8.5 meter tall statue of the Immaculate Conception which is atop a large pedestal that has a small chapel inside (no photography allowed). That is the 1st picture. Also, in the background of the 1st picture is the Maronite cathedral. The 2nd picture also shows the shrine, but this time includes a few of the cedars of Lebanon that are planted around the site.
    The 3rd picture is of the newest of several chapels here. The others were either closed for renovations, as was the cathedral or were celebrating a mass at the time.
    The 4th picture is the outdoor site for lighting candles. While I have seen outdoor places like this, the architecture here is unique.
    There is a part of the site with cedars and benches. In the 5th picture, this statue is sitting among the cedars.
    People also come here for the view. The 6th picture gives you a sense of this by looking to the south towards Beirut which is in the haze in the distance.
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  • Day12


    December 2, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ ☀️ 18 °C

    Byblos is one of the oldest (some say 3rd oldest) continuously inhabited cities in the world, and it is a delightful place full of history, nightlife, the Mediterranean, mountains and most everything you might ask for.
    Evidence suggests that settlement goes back as far as the 9th or 10th millennium BCE with continuous inhabitants since the 5th or 6th millennium. Since then, they have been part of most every middle eastern civilization over the years, and those various groups have left their marks.
    The 1st picture is of the old souk or market in the old town. This souk, reminiscent of souls elsewhere in the Arab world, is still a vibrant and active place: during the day for haggling and shopping; and at night for nightlife, including lots of open air pubs.
    The 2nd picture is of the crusader Castle of Gibelet (the crusader name for Byblos) built in the 12th century. Dead center in the picture and very small arched bridge into the castle. This is an Arab addition and one example of the mix of cultural influences here.
    The 3rd picture is taken from the rampart of the castle. To the left are 2 Phoenician temples from the 3rd millennium BCE, another example of the many cultures who have been here.
    The 4th picture is of a Roman colonnade marking what would have been the Cardo Maximus or main street.
    The 5th picture is of the Cathedral of Saint John-Mark, built by the crusaders in 1115 CE. There are several theories here. Some suggests that the 1st century John-Mark established the 1st Christian community in Byblos on his way to Asia Minor. It is thought that the church on the site was originally built over a destroyed pagan temple. Then the crusaders built this church upon those ruins. Much is speculation, but the stories are interesting and fun.
    The 6th picture looks over the Byblos harbor to some ruins at the entrance through the old seawall.
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  • Day12

    Monastery of St. Maroun Annaya

    December 2, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    This is another Lebanese Maronite monastery whose claim to fame is that it is the spiritual and physical home of St. Charbel, one of the 3 native Lebanese saints. There is a 4th who is being condidered for sainthood. st Charbel is known for his miracles, especially healings. He is highly popular here, not just among Maronites Christians.
    The monastery was started in 1828, the year of St Charbel's birth. He walked here from his home and never left, except to study and, ultimately, to become a hermit in the caves nearby. His tomb is in the monastery and is a place of pilgrimage.
    The 1st picture is the front of the monastery. The 2nd picture is St. Charbel's tomb. It is in its own small chapel. That is his coffin on the he center, and that is his well known picture above.
    The 3rd picture is in the courtyard or cloister, off which is St. Charbel's tomb.
    The last picture is in the monastery church during mass being celebrated by the monks and priests of the monastery.
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  • Day12

    Baatara Gorge

    December 2, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ ☀️ 9 °C

    Baatara gorge is a 240 meter deep sinkhole in Mount Lebanon that has become known for a couple reasons. During the spring runoff, I'm told, there is a 100 meter high waterfall into the gorge. I'm here at the wrong time of the year for that.
    The other is that the formation looks like 3 bridges are stacked one above the other. Together with the surrounding scenery, this has become a local recreational area.
    The 1st 2 pictures look down into the sinkhole. Sadly, the sun is in the wrong position for good photos. The 1st picture is taken from the terrace near the top of the gorge, and the 2nd is taken from about half the depth of the gorge at the point where trail access ends and the walls become near vertical.
    The other 2 pictures are in the gorge, looking at the immediate scenery.
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  • Day11

    St. Anthony of Kozhaya Monastery

    December 1, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ 🌧 6 °C

    I had the privilege of staying here. This is a Maronite monastery. It is named for St. Anthony of Egypt (see other posts), the father of monasticism. This monastery was founded in the 18th century. And this the mother house of the Lebanese Maronites.
    The 1st picture is a statue of St. Anthony outside a cave. The 2nd picture is St. Anthony's cave, now a small chapel. The 3rd picture is also in St. Anthony's cave. These are slave irons hanging beging the altar. I'm told they would use them to shackle wildly out of control people (believed at the time to be out of their minds, mentally ill, etc. The priest would pray until the subject was "cured," at which point the chains were removed. He was thus set free from slavery to his or her illness.
    The 4th picture is the facade built over the front of the cave holding the church. The 5th picture is the the nave of the church. The last picture is their nativity scene in a small side cave that acts like a large niche or small side chapel. I particularly like the image of the scene in a cave.
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  • Day11

    Musem of Khalil Gibran

    December 1, 2021 in Lebanon ⋅ 🌧 4 °C

    I only know Gibran for The Prophet, his most famous work. It turns out he was far more prolific than that. In fact he was an artist. Most of the museum is the originals of his painting. They are quite stunning and surprising. His work can be googled. So I won't belabor it here. I encourage you to look. His work includes his own illustrations that he prepared for The Prophet. I don't recall seeing them in any edition I've looked at. Just seeing those is well worth the time. (NB, photography wasn't allowed).
    The museum is in a former Carmelite Monastery in Gibran's home town. This is the view of the building from across the road.
    Gibran's will said that he wanted this monastery purchased so that he could be buried in his home town. The only part of the museum allowing photography is the tomb. The 2nd picture has his coffin behind glass. The rest of the pictures are of the remainder of the room. No explanation was given. So I simply surmise that these are his things, much like ancient burials interred some of the deceased's possessions.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Lebanon, Libanon, Lɛbanɔn, ሊባኖስ, Libano, لبنان, ܠܒܢܢ, Ліван, Ливан, Libaŋ, লেবানন, ལེབ་ནོན།, Liban, Líban, Libanus, ལེ་བཱ་ནཱོན, Lebanɔn nutome, Λίβανος, Líbano, Liibanon, Libaa, An Liobáin, લેબનોન, Labanan, לבנון, लेबनान, Լիբանան, Líbanon, レバノン共和国, ლიბანი, Lebanoni, លីបង់, ಲೆಬನಾನ್, 레바논, لوبنان, Lebnon, Libá, ເລບານອນ, Libanas, Liba, Libāna, Libana, Либанон, ലബനോണ്‍, लेबानन, Lubnan, Libanu, လက်ဘနွန်, Lebhanoni, लेबनोन, ଲେବାନନ୍, Libani, Lìbbanu, Libùaan, ලෙබනනය, Lubnaan, Либан, லெபனான், లెబనాన్, Лубнон, เลบานอน, Lepanoni, Lübnan, لىۋان, Li-băng (Lebanon), Lubnän, Orílẹ́ède Lebanoni, 黎巴嫩, i-Lebanon

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