Good morning (or afternoon)!
View from my friend's balcony in Mazboud, Lebanon.
I've been back from Lebanon for two weeks now and still haven't posted anything.
I made the trip with my friend, Melissa, so that we could see our friend, Mona. We all met 17 years ago when we worked together in a small American school. Lebanon is Mona's home country; she moved back there 7 years ago and it's been about 5 now since we've seen her.
After coffee on Mona's balcony that first morning, we headed to the old souk of Saida for breakfast and to see some of the historical sites.
foul w hummus
fava beans with chickpeas
Our first stop was The Soap Museum.
The museum is housed in a building that dates back to the 17th century (though it's thought that some parts are much older) and traces the history of soapmaking in the region.
Next a quick peak inside St. Nicholas Cathedral
And then a tour of the Debbane Palace Museum.
A brief history according to the museum website:
The Hammoud Family took up residence in 1722; in 1800 Youssef Debbane purchased the property; in 1902 Raphael Debbane restored the property and added two stories to the building. From 1978 until 1983, the property was occupied by armed units causing damage and dilapidation to some of the rooms. In 2000, the Debbane Foundation carried out restoration and had it designated a museum.
The interior ornamentation, marble mosaics and handcarved cedarwood ceiling were really spectacular to see.
We made our way out of the souk to our next destination just across the street.
Sidon Sea Castle is located on the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon and was built in the 13th century by the Crusaders as a fortress of the holy land. Of course, it has suffered great damage over the years because of wars and natural earthquakes and, therefore, has been restored many times.
We had a great time wandering the grounds.
And having a photoshoot with Melissa as our selfie queen.
This was only the first half of our day, so I'll leave with you with summer fruits from the souk and will post more another time.