Last week, two national holidays coincided to give us the day off from classes. Our school put together a little day trip with two goals: 1) play in the snow, and 2) eat lunch somewhere together. The bus arrived around nine in the morning to pick us up, and it was dumping rain here in Beirut. Instructions to the bus driver: “Take us to where there is snow!” And off we went. First stop: Wooden Bakery for breakfast of man’oush, picured on the cover of this book. This incredibly tasty, death-to-your-diet, pizza-like food is available all over the place. Including at the shop almost right underneath our apartment. MMmmmm, good!
Next stop, the snow! We didn’t know exactly where we were going, we just knew we were looking for some snow. So, from Beirut, we followed the Damascus highway (the major connection between Damascus and Beirut) over the Mt. Lebanon range. Just on the other side, as the road descends down into the Bekaa valley…well, there was some snow. So, we pulled over to the side of the highway, jumped out of the bus…and played in the snow!!
view looking out across the Bekaa valley towards Syria
Since there wasn’t quite as much snow as we had all hoped (most of it melted the day before…two days before there was a foot or two at this pass), we drove down into the Bekaa and toured the Umayyad ruins at Aanjar. For pictures of the ruins, click on the link or do a Google search. Here’s a picture of me in the parking lot with some local friends.
Then, we drove down the road a bit and “lunched” (yup, it’s a verb in Arabic) at a beautiful restaurant on the outskirts of Aanjar. We had a typical Lebanese feast with way more food than we could eat (probably 20 different plates over four courses) and great Arabic coffee to finish it all off.
posted by: caleb