Beirut Travel Blog

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People i met here who contributed to, and improved my trip: Julia (Russia), Ahmad and Mahmoud (Lebanon)

Thankfully the Lebanese border post was more accommodating than the Syrian one and after each handing over 25,000LL ($17), we were given 15 day visas for the country. From here it took another 90 minutes on the bus to reach Beirut, which is the countries Capital and arguably the liberal centre of the Middle East. Disappointingly all the Cities public buses had stopped running by the time that we arrived, so we were left with the prospect of an expensive taxi or walking.

Opening offers of 15,000LL ($10) from the taxi sharks were firmly rejected, as our ever reliable LP map showed it was only a few kilometers to walk. Thus we made our way up to the highway and went to ask in a garage how far it should be. By chance there was a group of young Lebanese guys who spoke perfect English and attended the American University of Beirut, and they told us it was well over an hour to walk, but they could help us get a taxi for only 2,000LL each. Annoyingly every one of the bastard taxi drivers was adamant that we had to pay somewhere between 10,000LL and 15,000LL, for no other reason than we were foreigners! I HATE TAXI DRIVERS!

I have pretty strong principles when it comes to such issues, so there was no way i was paying so much more, even if it meant that we had to walk so far. We thanked the guys and set off walking, but a few minutes later they pulled up next to us, with their flat tyre mended and offered to take us to the centre, which was awesome of them. I was really pleased to have received a lift, as it turned out to be a pretty long way and certainly saved us a lot of time and backache!

Couchsurfer Ahmad had agreed to host us for the next six nights and i couldn't believe how cool his house was. He had told me via email that it wasn't going to be very comfortable for us, but his place was a mansion! He lived with his brother Mahmoud and their servant Yunata on Mar Elias, which is one of the major streets in the City, so ideal for accessing all of the major attractions and transport. We chatted for a few hours, had some Dinner and watched a movie before going to bed.
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photo by: vulindlela