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Lebanon

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Miscellaneous notes wrapping up Jordan, Syria and Lebanon: In Palmyra we experienced our first guilt trip from a cab driver. On our second day he caught up to us on the street and whined that we had promised him we’d go to the tombs with him, which of course we hadn’t. I thought he was going to cry for a minute. People eat so late in the Middle East that it’s possible for us to go to a restaurant and sit anywhere because they will remove the Reserved signs and just replace them when we leave (I hadn’t actually noticed this until Barry pointed it out but it was true). A favourite practice in Syria, Aleppo in particular, was a slight markup of everything on your bill, easily explained if questioned I’m sure but not enough to cause a stir over (and no, tax was on top of that as…

Five women, three men, two taxis, a long weekend, a war-torn country attempting to reinvent itself. Does anyone else smell a new ABC sitcom…? That’s right, we were off to Lebanon with Barry, Sheena, and four of their friends from Damascus (Dustin, Lara, Hilary, Jen). We made  a beeline through Beirut to Byblos, a popular beach resort and the sight of some minor Roman ruins, although minor is a relative term, of course, as they would probably be considered fairly important Roman ruins in, say, Moose Jaw. Anyway, what a change from the rest of our trip to this point. We crossed into Lebanon through tree-lined mountains with spectacular snow-capped peaks in the distance before dropping suddenly down to the Mediterranean where the waves were lapping up against the rocky shoreline. The main thing – not desert. Our first stop was the Edde Sands resort, or as Barry insisted on…

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