Christmas and New Year in Lebanon

So as Alexa started moving away from Amman leaving her chaos behind and ending our classes sooner than we thought, I decided to take on a middle eastern tour for the holidays first stop was Lebanon.

One of the big part about being a traveler is adjusting to situations out of out control. At the beginning of this trip I knew I would be spending most of my time in a family’s house in the northern part of the country close to the border of Syria. Nonetheless my highest expectations were set on seeing Beirut, checking out the party scene, the fancy restaurants and all the new buildings.

However you probably already figured out that was not the case. About 10 minutes before entering Beirut all my expectations were crushed by the news that a car bomb had gone off in the downtown killing 8 and injuring around 70. Among those dead was Mahmoud Chatah a politician who had openly criticized Hamas’ support of Assad’s regime in the war in Syria, however no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

This caused two problems: on one hand we were unable to continue and on the other we could not go back because the road through Tripoli had been closed due to confrontations. It was also a reminder of how fragile the situation is in this region. When I say this it does not mean people are having their lives completely hindered or that they constantly live in fear. It just means there is more to it than we are shown in the news.

Overall the saddest part is that today we still see groups who think killing innocent civilians is the best way to pressure governments and advance their political agendas. Though force is sometimes justifiable, it never is when people’s lives are involved.

Ranting aside we had a wonderful celebration of Christmas and New Year in Al Hakour.

Now leave you expectations of great photography aside, and get ready for sum-it-up post.

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In the last hours of our stay in Lebanon we decided to go to the Hariza virgin. It is said that the virgin moved by itself during one of the wars of Lebanon and has become a popular site for pilgrims and tourists alike. I recommend a visit because beyond its religious value, (you may believe or not) it gives you a view of a good part of Beirut and Jbeil. Of course in the day the views are breathtaking.

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For New Year’s  we decided not to get bogged down by the fact we couldn’t celebrate in Beirut and instead attended a local party with singers that kept the party going all night. For holidays and celebrations in Lebanon this is a common occurrence, so make sure that if you find yourself in a

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We had many reasons to celebrate and many opportunities too! On the last day we decided to do a midnight tour of Beirut.

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Pretended to have coffee in the fashionable streets and took pictures of the giant Rolex clock. Exhausted and nearly at the break of dawn we headed towards the airport to the next part of our adventure.

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Have you ever had to change your plans during a trip for extraordinary circumstances?

How do you keep safe during your travels? Any tips or suggestions?

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