backpacking Lebanon solo
31.08.2010 - 04.09.2010 36 °C
Lebanon is a small country, travelling from one end to other end is not a hassle at all. Entering Lebanon from Syria is not difficult at all, I entered via the HOLMs border post. I arranged my Lebanes visa prior to my trip, this did save me time and hassles at the border post. I took a shared taxi from Holms to Tripoli 'Trablous' ,I had to pay almost SL 500.00 when exiting Syria . I am not really sure why I had to pay this amount. They explained to me in Arrabic but I just couldn't understand why I had to pay it.
On arrival at Tripoli I went sight seeing, I visited the Souq al-Sayyaghin (gold souq), souq al-attarin (perfume & spices) & the crusaders fortress. There wasn't much to see in Tripoli , I will advise you to arrive in the morning. You can spend the day sightseeing and then procede on your travels in the evening. I decided to spent a night in Tripoli since I was tired and I needed to rest.
Early in the morning I took a minibus from Tripoli to Bcharre. I paid LL3000 ($3.00) for a 3 hour journey. As I paid the fare I was thinking to myself what a rip-off, especially after spending almost two weeks in Syria where everything is cheap. As our journey took us to the beautiful Bccharre, the AMAZING scenary soon unfolded to me. I then thought to myself I would have paid a lot of money for that beautiful journey,all of a sudden the entire trip was worth every penny spent. The Ceders area is a mountanious, scenic, bendy area wow!!! if you are ever in Lebanon please do visit the Ceders area its worth the trip. Upon arrival at Buccharre I checked into a youthostel. I paid $10.00 per night. Since I arrived in the afternoon, I dropped my bags and then decided to go sightseeing.I was advised to hitch-hike to the ceders, just when I was on the road I got a lift which dropped me at the ceders at no fare at all. I then went hikking inside the ceders, there is no entrance fee to the ceders but you pay donation (anything you want).
After hikking the ceders I then hitch hikked a lift back to Bccharre, I managed to get a minibus going back. Upon arrival at the hostel I decided to go around looking for a resturant. It is amazing how difficult it is to find a vegeterian meal in most resturants in Bccharre, the fact that it was ramadan didn't help at all. I ended up buying chickpeas with nan-bread. In the evening I met up with other fellow travellers at the youthhostel and we decided to go for a walk around the town. We also made arrangements to meet at 06:30 the next morning for more hikking to the caves, Arrabic coffee and breakfast.
We left the hostel at 06:30 and we went hikking for the caves. We followed the directions from the lonely planet guide but the road highlighted was being renovated due to this we couldn't reach the caves. We ended up having a heated debate regarding which travellers guide is the best. After a number of attempts we decided to stop our attempt to hike to the caves and procede on our journey's. We had Arrabic cofee and then we took a shared taxi to the Baaka valley. There are no transport connections between Bchharre & the Baaka valley.We took a taxi to Baalbek which is the administrative headquaters for both the baaka valley and the Hezbolah party. Funny enough when we were hikking at the ceders there was a rumour circulating that two tourist had been kidnapped in Baalbek, not really sure if the rumour was true or not. Anyways we still proceded on our journey from Bccharre to Baalbek, the journey took us 2.5 hrs and it cost $25.00 each. It was a bit much expensive but we arrived at our destination before midday.
Upon arrival at Baalbek we decided to check into a hostel. We manged to secure a room at $10.00. We then went sightseeing the Jupiter temple;Venus temple;temple of Bacchus etc. We finished sightseeing around 15:00. we then decided to return back to the hostel and collect our bags since we had decided not to spend a night at Baalbek anymore. I thought we were going to have problems checking out of the hostel but it was easy, I advised my travel budy to checkout and I went into our room and grabbed our bags. We then took a minibus to Zahle from the front of the Palmyra hotel.
The minibus dropped us just outside the winery and we went for a winery tour. My travel budy was excited since he drank his wine and mine since I don't drink alcohol. Durring our winery tour we met a couple who knew my travel budy. They offered me a lift to Beirut in their private taxi. I arrived at Beirut around 19:00 and I took a taxi from their hotel to my hostel. I did manage to avoid a rooftop room and I was in a 3 bed dorm.. I went straight to bed
I woke up early in the morning and I took a minibus to the cola bus station (Beirut). I then took a minibus to Tyre, I arrived at Tyre around 09:00.I went sight seeing the old town of Tyre, beautiful area indeed.
In the afternoon I took a bus to Sidon, I went sight seeing etc.
Upon completion I took a bus back to Beirut.I arrived at the Beirut early but I got lost going to the hostel. I arrived at the hostel around 22:00. I was very very tired that evening, so I took a shower and went to bed.
I took a bus to Babylos.The bus from Beirut to byblos took less than 2hrs.
I went sight seeing and swimming. In the early evening I took a bus back to Beirut. I then took a shower and went for dinner. In the evening I took a taxi to the airport. At 23:00 I was at the airport..... WONDERFUL trip indeed !!!