We headed down to Zaitunay Bay last weekend for Caleb’s birthday dinner. Incidentally the same place we ate the night before Ruby was born. Irrelevant, but whatever.
I can’t remember if I’ve blogged about Zaitunay Bay before. I feel like I planned on it, but then had a baby the next day and never did. So for the record, it’s a new stretch of shops and restaurants along the Beirut Marina. It’s ridiculously expensive (the first restaurant we sat down to eat in had a $25 hamburger on the menu. Yeah, not so much. But there is a Classic Burger there, which is the only place we can afford. Oh, and a Coffee Bean, which is the only coffee shop in Beirut that has my beloved chai). It’s also really beautiful. The boardwalk is really nice, the yachts in the marina are amazing, and there are actually little stretches of grass that Isla loves to run on.
At one end of the marina is St. Georges Hotel, an iconic symbol of Beirut that was destroyed during the war. I don’t know all of the politics surrounding the hotel… but from what I understand, it hasn’t been rebuilt because of some kind of legal dispute between the owner of the hotel and the company Solidere which has been responsible for a lot of the development of downtown Beirut. The hotel has a massive ‘Stop Solidere’ banner hanging on one side and this new addition to the fence all around the marina right up to the entrance of Zaitunay Bay:
It kind of made me laugh… like I said, I don’t know all the politics behind it, I don’t know who actually owns the land or the bay, or what it’s actual name is, I just know this sign made me feel like I was in junior high again.