Day1 - 9/11/2002: Two Americans in the Middle East

 Beirut: Center of Town - Jounie, Telepherique, Harissa

While some of our Lebanese friends worried about our safety in this Middle Eastern country on the historically sensitive day of 9/11, we encountered no problems nor any animosity. A few folks wanted to talk about world politics and such.  We opted to be only slightly cautious and enjoyed lively conversations about international concerns. 

For more general information about Beirut, check out the LebanonVoice web site.

Ancient ruins being excavated during the reconstruction of the Beirut Central District (BCD)Check out PATRICK'S PANORAMA of this site.

The rebuilt clock tower in center of the rebuilt area - the Mediterranean Sea can just be seen center, between buildings.

Keith takes this photo of an "art cow" near our favorite BCD Kabob restaurant. More photos!

Patrick chooses the men's WC for his art photo in the BCD area.

Nada & Patrick pause for this photo op on the waterfront.

The walkway along the Beirut waterfront.

A view up one of the streets leading inland from the waterfront.

With fishermen trying their luck, Nada & Patrick pause on our walk. Much construction & reconstruction was obvious.

Nada & Keith walk on as Patrick captures this view of wind blown palm trees, many of which have been replanted after the destruction of the war.

Later in the day we journey a few miles north of Beirut to the city of Jounieh where one attraction is the Teleferique (also spelled Telepherique or "Terror-freak").

This is the loading area at the base were we boarded these little cable car "pods."

Looking back we see the dark rectangle from which we just emerged.

In our little pod we seem to be heading right in to a high-rise apartment building.

Skimming between the apartment building and the Queen's Land Hotel, we continue our upward journey.

Soon we are looking down on the busy coastal freeway & the city of Jounieh.

As we gain altitude the views get more spectacular. What a thrill! This is not for anyone with any fear of heights. 

We skim past more high-rise buildings on the mountain side. It seems that some of these folks have no privacy even many floors up.

This is the end of the line for these tiny 2-4 person cable car pods. North Jounieh Bay is clearly seen here.

Leaving the Telepherique, we now take the Funicular the rest of the way to the top of the mountain.

Here we find (& climb up to) "Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine." This famous white statue is also called the "Virgin of Lebanon." The modern Maronite cathedral can just be seen at right.

From the top of the Shrine Patrick spots the nearby Byzantine-style St Paul's Basilica. With his love of old churches, we must now find our way there.

Patrick poses on the steps of St Paul's Basilica built by a Greek Catholic society of preaching fathers, the Missionaries of St Paul.

From St Paul's we get a fantastic view of the Virgin Shrine and the dramatic Basilique of Our Lady of Lebanon. Check out PATRICK'S PANORAMA taken from this site.

Here we try to capture the inside view of the Basilique with the statue showing through the high windows. The design of this building is said to be inspired by the Lebanese Cedar tree and the Phoenician ship.

Dropping down to the restaurant located where the Telepherique & Funicular meet, we enjoy a fine meal & interesting conversation with our waiter. Here we get our waiter to sit at our table with Patrick for this photo op. More photos!

The views from this restaurant are spectacular. Here Keith uses the telephoto lens to try to photograph the beginning point of the Telepherique. It is the dark rectangle near the sea at the center of this picture. 

Here we get ready to board another tiny "cable pod" for our thrilling journey back down the mountain.

Patrick views the north Bay as we descend.

Looking down from our pod we can see small patches of farming areas and a few greenhouses. 

Nearing the bottom of the run, we view these interesting buses in a parking lot below.


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