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Cool Last Day of Visit - Byblos and other points of interest


Byblos and Points North

It was raining when we woke this morning. I picked up my bottle of the herb Echinacea at the local pharmacy, to treat my symptoms. My throat is worse today. Wadad’s sister Sihan came for a visit. At 9:00, Charbel picked us up to tour us to the north of Lebanon. I’m listing the sites we visited today because it was so fast, and I was not feeling well. They became confused in my mind.

  • Residence of Maronite Patriarch where I took pictures
  • Harissa – Our Lady of Lebanon
  • St. Charbel
  • Byblos – I took pictures
  • Lunch at restaurant “Chez Louis” near Tabarja, on the water
  • As we drove north the highway improved greatly. Wadad said this was mostly Christian area. It was raining, but it cleared as we moved north. The highway hugged the coastline. When we turned east, it became a hairpin-curve, steep road almost straight up the mountain. At the top, it was cool and foggy. Because Charbel is in the army, the soldiers guarding the partiarch’s residence allowed us to drive into the compound and take pictures. Otherwise no one is allowed inside. Again, another rare treat.

    Patriarch's Home

    The chapel next to the residence had stained-glass dome at the entrance.

    Chapel next to Patriarch's Home

    From here we drove higher up in the mountains to the church and shrine of Notre Dame du Liban. She stands with arms outstretched, protecting the country of Lebanon. It was very cold up here.

    Our Lady of Liban

    While it was cold, the views were so beautiful, and it was a treasured opportunity to spend time at this holy place with my friend Wadad, who has given me this special experience.

    Good Friends

    Looking down from where we stood

    One of the famous Cedars of Lebanon

    Cathedral of Notre Dame du Liban

    Church window was designed for this view

    Our next stop was the Maronite Church and Hermitage where St. Charbel became a saint, and where his tomb is today. Wadad and I both went in and said our prayers. Charbel is a saint also! He took us everywhere we wanted, right up to the door. We took all the time we wanted and when we came out, he was there, the car turned in the right direction, ready to take us on. Oh! What a luxury to have a private driver!

    View of Byblos from the windy heights

    We drove to the ancient harbor fortress at Byblos where the ruins date back to Neolithic village. There are Phoenician ruins, Roman ruins and Crusader ruins.

    Ancient port city of Byblos

    After, we drove to a seaside restaurant and had a fabulous seafood lunch. This one made the other one pale by comparison.

    Seafood Restaurant in Byblos, "Chez Pepe'"

    We picked out our own fish, and talked first to the chef himself about the menu.

    We selected from very fresh fish!

    We sat near a table of sailors who were drinking heavily with their lunch. They were joined by two young, glittery, lovely hookers. They were having a good time (the men that is; I’m not sure about the women). Wadad wanted to move, but I said no, I was enjoying the spectacle.

    The view from the window by our table

    Wadad and I had a lovely lunch with a wonderful view in this charming restaurant. What a great spot for our last excursion in Lebanon!

    My friend, lovely Wadad

    Sunday FLY HOME

    Charbel picked me up at Wadad’s home at 3:00 a.m. and took me to the airport. What a lovely luxury to have a driver! He made the trip very special in his own quiet way, and I will not forget him, or the other wonderful people who made these days magic. I thank God for my friends!

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