Going from Syria to Lebanon was quite a change. The border just stamped my passport, and on the way to Tripoli not a single police officer wated to stop us to check our documents. Prices there were also many times higher than in Syria.
The border with Syria
My time in Syria has been absolutely fantastic, but I felt a bit relieved to be out and be able to relax and not worry about being arrested by the police and be accused of being a spy etc. Lebanon is a country I had visited before and I also had friends I wanted to meet up with while being here.
Last time I was in Lebanon, five years ago, Tripoli was a city that was off limits to tourists due to violence going on in the streets. I was glad to see that it was a city completely at peace with no signs of destruction like I had seen in most cities in Syria.
Walking around the port side of the city I came across a cemetary for trains which really fascinated me.
Also the older parts of the city, there are three of them and therefore the city is called Tripoli, was great. Just walking around, seeing the soap market, narrow streets and the fortress with a fantastic view and rich history.
Another highlight was the Tripoli International fair. It had been designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer who also designed the city of Brasilia. They never finished it, and I was told that the reason was that they didnt want to attracr mass tourism. Now instead it is a peaceful and quiet place where people go jogging, on picnics, practise kickboxing or yoga and in the evening spend time at the Christmas market.
Also on the way down to Beirut from Tripoli I made a stop at the Colonel Brewery in Batroun. The place was super hip, serving beer tasters and had a nice park where there were lots of kite surfers and SUPers hanging out.
Just want to share a picture from downtown Beirut as well with a mosque, church and a synagoge all next to each other. A perfect place to finish off my Middle East trip