When the government announced that we were having a public holiday, we immediately contacted a travel agency to book us a day tour to Oman. Tim invited my dad to join us on this trip.
So at 5AM, Tim and I drove to my dad’s place since we agreed with the travel agency to pick us up from there. We got there and had breakfast and at around 7AM the driver picked us up and drove straight to a place called Musandam in Oman.
Awaiting at our destination was a traditional Omani boat ready to cruise us around. It’s the perfect way to enjoy swimming and in addition to watch wild dolphins.
It was hell of an experience to be able to do such adventurous activity in the GCC so if ever you visit UAE, dedicate a day for Musandam, it is really worth it.
Wild Dolphins in Musandam
Tim, my uncle and I went for a stroll in downtown Beirut. Unfortunately the place was guarded because of the ‘rubbish crises’ and a riot against the government. The Lebanese parliament is located in the middle of downtown so Tim asked a soldier if he can grant us permission to walk around. The soldier agreed and advised me in Arabic to not do anything funny or any unusual movement or else we might get shot. So we said SIR YES SIR and continued walking.
The area was empty and felt haunted. The most beautiful thing to see in downtown is the church right next to a mosque, it’s where Abrahamic religions collide. Downtown is historical and was rebuilt after the civil war but you will still see bits and pieces that were destroyed during the war.
Lebanese should consider how blessed they are in so many ways, despite the corruption and internal conflicts. 15 years of war and the Lebanese heritage couldn’t be destroyed, it’s still historical, the culture is alive and the Lebanese people know how to enjoy life.
Personally, out favourite hangout areas so far in Beirut are Hamra St. and Raouche where the Pigeon Rock is located. Tim and I had breakfast, lunch and dinner with my family in Raouche and enjoyed our walk. Fact about Beirut is that it never ever sleeps, even when we arrived at 3AM, the city was AWAKE; loud music playing and people having fun AND SMOKING SHISHA.
Despite all the issues when we visited, we simply LOVE Beirut and can’t wait to go back. Our stay was extremely short and there are still lots of things to do and discover in Beirut. And on our next visit, we are planning to tour the South of Lebaon.
Tim’s 27th birthday happened to be on a public holiday so we decided to fly to Lebanon for 4 days and meet my uncle Robert. My cousin who is based in Dubai, promised us that she will book a hotel apartment for 4 days and when we got there at 3AM, the guy at the reception said that there’s no confirmation or any available rooms so we used their wifi and booked at a 4 star hotel just 3 minutes away for a cheaper rate. The guy was nice to us and booked a last minute tour to the 3 J’s which are Jeita, Jebel and Jounieh.
The next day at around 8AM a young boy named Ali picked us up and showed us those 3 destinations. Jeita – 1st J is one of the 7 wonders of the world. We were not allowed to take photos but we took some at the entrance of Jeita (cave). Ali later took us to a place where we wore the traditional Lebanese outfits and took pictures. It became part of our travel ritual to wear the traditional outfits of the country we visit.
Ali then took us to the 2nd J – Jebeil a beautiful place near the sea. We visited an old castle and went for a walk around the old market. Lebanon is stunningly vintage, GOD!!!! it’s a beautiful country.
Three of us got hungry and I recommended a restaurant called Manuela on the beach that serves unlimited desserts and fruits for free. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE PLACE. The foods delicious and service is amazing. JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURE BELOW. We later continued our journey to the final J – Jounieh, Ali joined us and we three rode on a cable car that took us to the top of the mountain. It’s the best spot to take pictures of Beirut. WE LOVE BEIRUT. At the top of the mountain there’s a church with a huge statue of Mother Mary.
Although I visited Beirut many times, my trip with Tim is by far the GREATEST