Beirut- Rising again!

Beirut Travel Blog

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Landing in Bahrain, where we connected to Beirut.

I had wanted to visit Lebanon as far back as I could remember.   I recall the images of destruction on television from the '70s and '80s and knew that Lebanon was more than that.

I acquired a pass, through work, to anywhere in the Gulf Air network and decided to go to Beirut.

My trip started out in Reno, Nevada, where I caught a Southwest 737 to San Diego, with a stop in Las Vegas.  I had worked earlier that day, doing a Flight Attendant check ride from Reno to Phoenix to Los Angeles and back to Reno, so I was extremely tired and still in uniform.   I met my friend in San Diego and we took the Jetblue red eye flight to New York-Kennedy.

Luna Park
  We then took the British Airways daylight flight to London-Heathrow and enjoyed a Business class upgrade.  We arrived in London in the evening and just went to the hotel at Piccadilly Circus and went to sleep.  The next morning, we walked around London and even went to some places we had not been to before in London.  That evening we flew Gulf Air overnight from London to Bahrain and enjoyed another business class flight.  The flight was routine and I watched a movie called Mujhse Shaadi Karogi, which I thought was hilarious!

Arrival into Bahrain was smooth and we waited a couple of hours before the connection to Beirut on the Gulf Air 767.   This flight was also routine and after a few hours, we were excited to be in Lebanon!  Customs and Immigration were quick and smooth and they triple checked our passports to make sure there was no prior travel to Israel.

Pigeon Rocks
  Aircraft seat to curbside took only 15 minutes!   We took a taxi and arrived at the hotel within 15 minutes.  The hotel was The Mayflower and was very nice.   We cleaned up a bit and headed out for some exploration.   We went to the Pigeon Rocks for the sunset and went back up to the Hamra for the evening.   We ate some shawarma, falafel, and pistachio ice cream.

 

January 17

The next morning we left early to explore again.  We headed out towards the Corniche this time and then went up around the "Green Line", which is the area that divided the city during the war.  Later in the day, we took a taxi up to the mountains above the city.  In the evening, we went down to the Corniche again and visited the Hard Rock Cafe.

Hamra Street
  Did some more walking around the Hamra and went to sleep.

 

January 18

We woke up early this day and did some more exploration.   We also hired a taxi and driver, who showed us around the city some more and pointed out certain places of interest.  We then headed to Beirut airport for the afternoon departure to Bahrain.   The whole check in process was smooth and soon we were heading to Bahrain on a Gulf Airbus 340 in business class.   We arrived into Bahrain in the early evening and went out and caught a taxi to downtown Manama.   We walked around the city for about 6 hours or so, went to the Hard Rock, and then back to the airport for the overnight Gulf flight to London.  This was the only flight leg on the entire trip that was "iffy" for standby, but we did get on and it was a quick flight to London.

Beirut sunset
   Upon landing at LHR, the plane lost hydraulics and we had to be towed to the gate.   We sat around Heathrow for a few hours and then caught our BA 747 to Seattle.   This flight was made quick due to the fact that I had slept from departure all the way to being above Calgary.   It was a smooth arrival into Seattle and my friend I parted ways, him to Boise and I to Reno.   My Seattle to Reno flight was just about over when the crew announced that Reno was fogged in and we would circle a little while before diverting to Las Vegas.   I wanted to be home so bad to see my wife and daughter, but we diverted to Las Vegas.  I grew up in Vegas and have family there so I called them up but nobody was home.   I had been talking to the Flight Attendants and they told me to take the contiuation of that flight to Ontario with them and I could stay in the crew hotel, so I did.
Pigeon Rocks
    I had to work the next morning in Oakland and so I took the early flight and made it in time.

Wow, Beirut!     I really liked this city!   My friend was not keen on going to Beirut and really wanted me to get the pass issued for a more popular destination, like Cairo.   He ended up being so glad we went to Beirut.  He thought it was amazing also.

I would go back to Lebanon in a heartbeat and hope to!    I want to see more of the country next time instead of just Beirut and it's suburbs.     The Mayflower Hotel is a great place to stay in Beirut.  

As for safety........I will tell you, I felt safer in Beirut than in most big cities in the USA.   The Lebanese were so happy to see tourists and told us that they appreciated us coming from America to visit their proud country.

 

vulindlela says:
Thank you, Jessie!
I would love to return and see more!
Posted on: Jul 28, 2014
ken2010 says:
Hi, I'm going there for my first visit next Monday and I really look forward to it.

greetings from Sweden,
Posted on: May 02, 2010
vulindlela says:
Thank you Paul!
It is truly an amazing place and I want to go back so bad!
Posted on: Nov 13, 2009
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Landing in Bahrain, where we conne…
Landing in Bahrain, where we conn…
Luna Park
Luna Park
Pigeon Rocks
Pigeon Rocks
Hamra Street
Hamra Street
Beirut sunset
Beirut sunset
Pigeon Rocks
Pigeon Rocks
Pigeon Rocks
Pigeon Rocks
Near Pigeon Rocks
Near Pigeon Rocks
War damage
War damage
Commodore Hotel
Commodore Hotel
War damage
War damage
War damage
War damage
Roman ruins
Roman ruins
Church
Church
Beirut
Beirut
The Green Line
The "Green Line"
War damage
War damage
War damage
War damage
Beirut National Museum
Beirut National Museum
American University clock tower
American University clock tower
HRC Beirut server Dayana.
HRC Beirut server Dayana.
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Beirut
photo by: vulindlela