Mt. Lebanon & Byblos
bible beginnings, gala endings
Mount Lebanon is mentioned in the Old Testament several times. King Hiram I sent engineers to fetch cedar wood from its slopes to build the Jewish Temple of Jerusalem
we set out to hike the Literary Trail of Mt. Lebanon
maybe it's the mountain air or the tomatoes, but a disproportionate number of poets lived along this trail.
Often you shall think your road impassable, sombre and companionless. Have will and plod along; and round each curve you shall find a new companion.
its easy to find inspiration here
and nourishment for the soul, and the stomach. The slopes spill with fruits and vegetables. Tomotoes are the size of melons.
walnuts grow on stones
don't miss the figs
it's all downhill from here
down to Byblos, claiming oldest city in the world
and it also claims fish fossils found on Mt Lebanon dating back 100 million years.
Byblos means "papyrus book," and the Bible's name derives from here
It's also the source of the first alphabet. To abet trade Phoenenicains invented the 22 letter set to represent the phonemes of their language.
the Geeeks appropriated the alphabet and then the Romans morphed it to the Latin alphabet the West shares today
so many layers of history here. wherever you sit you are on the shoulders of several civilizations past
the crusaders conquered in the 12th century, and built massive defensive castles
then the Mamlūks from Egypt vanquished; then the Ottomans, who ruled for 400 years.
and then the French moved in, bringing a new Joie de vivre
Before the civil war, Byblos was a secret hideaway for the jet set.Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando stayed here. So do we.
now with war a distant whisper, Bylbos is back to its festive ways
we dine with the beautiful and the fly
where the locals celebrate the good life with Lebanese wine and a shisha pipe
and since Byblos is the ultimate blend of civilizations, we celebrate with a Lebanese Arnold Palmer
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