What Makes Lebanon Such An Idiot-ic Country On The Mediterranean Sea?

It took The Idiot just three days of MedTrekking on the Lebanon coast north and south of Beirut to remind himself of the unique historical, cultural, religious, ethnic, military and political diversity found at this Mediterranean basin crossroads sandwiched between Syria and Israel.

The state of the seaside — dotted with obstructive military installations and ramshackle homes with unsanitary living conditions that vividly contrast with sophisticated beach clubs, chic marinas and lavish construction projects — tells part of the story.

Military facilities frequently make it difficult to walk on the coast.

Military facilities frequently make it difficult for The Idiot to walk on the beach or rocks.

Is this lookout meant to make MedTrekkers feel secure?

Is this lookout meant to make MedTrekkers feel secure or part of an anti-beautification project?

Living conditions, like these ramshackle  homes primarily for refugees in Ouzai south of Beirut, are abhorrent.

Living conditions, like these ramshackle homes primarily for Palestinian and Syrian refugees in dodgy Ouzai south of Beirut, are not always five star.

MedTekkers meet tanks in downtown Beirut.

MedTekkers meet tanks as they stroll through downtown Beirut.

But it is the eerie and surreal yang-and-yin contradictory effect that makes Lebanon so intirguing. Within steps of the intimidating tanks and smelly sewage-filled seaside hovels are calm sidewalks, spotless marinas and new buildings.

The peaceful seaside promenade in Beirut.

The peaceful seaside promenade in Beirut at 7 pm.

A texting roller blader on the marina in Beirut with the new Citadelle skyscraper in the background.

A texting roller blader near Beirut’s Saint George Yacht Club and Marina obscures my photograph of the new Citadelle skyscraper rising in the background.

A young woman relaxes at the marina in Beirut.

A young Muslim woman relaxes at the marina in Beirut.

Waterfront City is being constructed adjacent to the marina in Dbayeh north of Beirut.

Waterfront City (www.waterfrontcity.com) is being constructed adjacent to the marina in Dbayeh north of Beirut.

Religions, cultures and lifestyle also coexist side-by-side.

A minibus north of Juniyah makes it clear that this is a Christian part of the country.

A minibus in Journieh makes it clear that this is a predominantly Christian part of the country.

A resort for ladies only south of Beirut.

A resort for ladies only, which caters primairly to Muslim women, got The Idiot off the beach for a moment south of Beirut.

Refreshingly, nature and history are a constant presence.

A stunning rock formation off the coast in Beirut.

A stunning rock formation off the Beirut seaside.

The enticing ruins at Byblos, which is perhaps the world's oldest inhabited city, seen from the top of a 12th century  citadel.

The enticing ruins at Byblos, which is perhaps the world’s oldest inhabited city, seen from the top of a 12th century citadel.

A pristine and quiet beach for an Idiot-ic tent.

A pristine and quiet beach for an Idiot-ic tent.

Next week: What will The Idiot do when/if he reaches the Syrian border north of Tripoli, Lebanon?

Posted on by Joel in Featured, Follow The Idiot, Idiotic Musings, Israel, Lebanon, Mediterranean Pix, MedTrekking, PR, Syria

About Joel

Joel Stratte-McClure has been a global trekker since the 1970s. He lived in France for over 30 years, working as a journalist, before he turned his attention to a unique life-time-project of walking the shores of the Mediterranean. The first 4,401 kilometers are explored in his inspirational and entertaining first book "The Idiot and the Odyssey: Walking the Mediterranean." The next 4,401 kilometers are covered in the gods-filled sequel, "The Idiot and the Odyssey II: Myth, Madness and Magic on the Mediterranean,” published on Valentine's Day 2013. The last 4,401 kilometers will be discussed in the last book of the trilogy currently entitled "The Idiot and the Odyssey III: Alexander the Great Walks the Mediterranean."

One Response to What Makes Lebanon Such An Idiot-ic Country On The Mediterranean Sea?

  1. Michal

    I have enjoyed reading your account if life next door. Thank you.

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