Wanderlust : Lebanon, the forgotten Mediterranean

I just came back from Japan, but you know how it is: after being so happy to be back in Paris, I am know daydreaming of traveling again and wondering where we will be going next! (We’re already going to Portugal next month, but let’s say I like to plan/dream ahead)

The e-mail I received from Orphée, the founder of  l’Hôte Libanais, immediately revived long-buried fantasies about Lebanon. We had considered going there a few years ago (after Monocle declared Beirut a gem of a city) yet never acted on it, only to forget about it as the political situation was getting  worse. Today, I don’t know if we can say that the situation is that much better, but it looks that at least part of the country is safe to visit. To tell you the truth, after browsing l’Hôte Libanais for a few minutes I was already quite sold, it was like discovering a hidden portion of eden, an anthology of all-things middle-eastern and mediterranean.

There are six B&Bs on the website: in Beirut of course, but also in seaside Batroun, in the Shouf mountains, in the Qadisha valley and in Mount Lebanon,  all of which with that welcoming and refined look that make me want to book a ticket right know.

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feels pretty homy, right?

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I might as well confess that Libanese food is a big selling point for me.

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One of the b&b is owned by an interior decorator. You can tell.

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The exteriors aren’t so bad either.

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This one’s called “chill with the emirs”. Count me in!

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Alreading spotting some stuff I might buy that would not fit in my luggage.

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I sense some carpet-fabric-cushions shopping coming up.

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It might look like I’m only dreaming of going there because of figs and embroidered cushions, but the scenery is also very appealing. Liban is said to have an incredible variety of landscapes in its relatively small territory. Paul Morand even wrote: “Before all those flat lands, before the unlimited deserts of Asia and Africa. […] We arrive in Beirut : behind the city is appearing Lebanon’s natural amphitheater ; waterfalls, snows, cedars and chestnut trees, lush vegetation, wild gorges, all that sparked the imagination of the arid Orient.”

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The mix of influences is already buidling up my curiosity!

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I don’t know about you, but I feel very convinced and quite happy at the idea of (on my modest scale) helping tourism in Lebanon, especially such good looking one.

Maybe next spring?

 

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All picture courtesy of L’Hôte Libanais
Check their website for more info, and have a look at the Magazine section they started for articles about Lebanon and links to locals’ blogs.

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