Thursday, August 2, 2018

Scenes from Saida Souk

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
so delicious!
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.
Happy August!


crafty cat corner said...

Lovely post Tammy, hope you are well.

Jennifer Hays said...

This was such an interesting post, Tammy. It looks like you did a lot of really nice things in Lebanon. I think I've told you that my mom is Syrian; she has a number of relatives by marriage who are Lebanese and I've always been interested in what it's like in Lebanon because the family often vacationed there. I'm so glad you shared your trip with us.

Terra said...

This post is filled with lovely photos, I can't pick a favorite. I do love old bazaars and palaces and churches. I spent countless happy hours shopping and roaming the old bazaar in Istanbul when I lived there. I visited Beirut and Baalbeck decades ago.

Lisa said...

The history is amazing! What a fascinating city. Was the fruit as delicious as it looks?

Betsy said...

Oh my goodness Tammy! I have absolutely no idea what to comment on first. It has taken me almost an hour to go through this post! The photos are so beautiful. I would love to visit Lebanon someday. Those mosaics! Something about the building with the shutters is so haunting to me and I don’t know why. Thank you so much for sharing these photos with us. Knowing I probably will never be there myself, I love to see pictures of other parts of the world. This post was amazing and I thank you for sharing it all with us.
Many blessings my sweet friend,

Createology said...

Your photography and descriptions have me feeling like I am right there with you and for that I Thank You. It is probably the only way I will ever get to visit these amazing places. First half of the day? Whew I am exhausted however those Summer fruits will refresh me with renewed energy I am certain. Summer Smiles Dear...<3

Kit said...

Wow! What an incredible tour. Thanks for all the pics! I feel like I went on a mini vacation. Now I am hungry for fresh fruit. :) Kit

Lorrie said...

I loved all of this - the souk, the food (that breakfast looks so fresh and delicious), and the old ruins. The soap museum - who would have thought? I once did a public speaking assignment in school on soap. Hope you are doing well at home.

Gracey is not my name.... said...

What a great trip! I always love seeing mosaics...just so gorgeous!

Lilbitbrit said...

Interesting post on Lebanon, I think our perception is it all got bombed to bits, but I guess that was a while back. Like the shot on the steps of the three of you.

Maya Kuzman said...

I love going through the souks with your pictures! Brought back memories from our time in Tunisia! Was quite surprised to see a Byzantine icon of the Virgin Mary in St. Nicholas Cathedral....

Mereknits said...

Thank you for taking us so many interesting places Tammy. Looks like you had a wonderful time.

Angie said...

The souk is always an exciting place to visit - so much to see, smell, taste, feel - it pulls on all the senses. Glad you had a good time - you certainly covered a lot of ground … So pleased that some of these sites have been/continue to be restored so they can be enjoyed by all.

Draffin Bears said...

Hi Tammy,

Looks like you had a wonderful trip catching up with your friends and thanks for sharing your photos. Lebanon looks like a great place and the summer fruits look delicious.
Have a great weekend

Quinn said...

Thanks for sharing your explorations, Tammy - looks like you three had a fabulous reunion! The picture of all three on the stairs is lovely :) And now I'm off to google recipes for foul. I need to add more chickpea dishes to my diet - so nutritious and simple and economical. And tasty.

Sam I Am...... said...

Thank you for taking us with you! I always love your travels...such an education and glad you could see and visit with your friends. I love anything old and the buildings and history and carvings and stone work are just beautiful! What talent to be so creative. I can't wait to see part 2!

SusanLotus said...

Hi Tammy!

Beautiful and interesting blogpost.
It must have been greatfun to finally
meet up with yourold friends again. :)

And the surroundings are so beautiful too.
I enjoy reading all the facts too.

In the previous blogposts too.

The fruits reminds me of eating. And eating healthy!

My appetite has blown away somewhere else...
So much happened in my life so I didn´t have the power
to write back to you. If you still want me to I will do so.

Have a wonderful sunday and keep spreading your light!

Mariette VandenMunckhof-Vedder said...

Dearest Tammy,
What a joy to come here to this lovely post!
Had finished pre-posting several stories about our work in India, they will start being published tomorrow evening and every 4 days.
Felt so happy for having managed all that. So hard to sort through photos without the present day info about date, time and geographic info.
Still doing this for my Pieter... He loves to relive those happy and healthy years; so do I!
How wonderful for the three of you for getting back together! Five years seem to pass by so quickly and yet, one longs for having a tea/coffee or lunch together at times. At least I do with my spread out friends!
LOVE that architecture you show here in so many special details. So unique and artful, using local sources available to the region.
People that never travel or don't dare to leave home, miss out on so many things.
Thanks for sharing your joy and looking forward to the next post.
By the way, our sweet Bandido boy (we call him Dido) was diagnosed with mammary gland tumor on his upper chest. We got an appointment to have it surgically removed and were so saddened as it is 85-90% malignant. Even for male cats... Weird. She said, better to remove because eventually it will open up. So we set the date as both of us had an appointment with a BsCPodologist in Atlanta on Monday. Coming home from this blissful treatment, I found out that Dido's tumor had opened... Called the vet what to do. She said, put a gauze on it and than a tube, something that you can cut holes in for his legs. I use to call it his arms... So I went downstairs and got Pieter's paint-stained silk knit sweater and cut off the lower part of the sleeves. Cut holes on the side and had him a cute mock turtleneck sweater. Put the gauze on and wrapped some bandage around and secured it over one shoulder, through the armhole for not letting it slide off. It worked! He was so very sweet, like a doll. We dropped him off on Tuesday morning and she would be doing blood work first to know what she was finding out about his general health. Got a call at 10:30 AM that he was in good health and that it was NOT a tumor but an abscess. We were both so relieved and happy for him. He's home since 4:00 PM Tuesday and in a good week from now the stitches will come out. Dido still wears his cute sweater! So much sweetness...
Hope that Jingles is doing well too.

Serena Lewis said...

A wonderful post, Tammy. I've seen some of the photos on Instagram but it was great to see more. Some of the work is so ornate — love all the detail! Some of those places would be great for sketching. Nice selfie shots, girls!

Linda said...

Very cool travels (and photoblog), Tammy. Not much typing for me since I'm recovering from many muscle tears related to the dislocated shoulder, but just letting you know, I'm reading. :)

Bee Lady said...

I’m still posting pictures of a trip I took two months ago! I’m almost finished. Thank goodness. I think it’s wonderful you connected with old friends. And in such a beautiful place! Everything looks so bright and colorful!

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