Arz – Ehden; through Her & I

On Sunday, we decided to visit the mountain side of the country up North. Lebanon is famous for its coastal shore, beach resorts however people tend to forget its mountainous aspect during summer. Hence, Ranya suggested we go explore the Cedars of Bsharre (Cedars of God) and Ehden village of Zgharta. I am going to admit to you something. I have never ever seen a Cedar tree in my life. Except for the one on our flag! Oops yeah I know, shame on me! but you know what they say, better late than never!!

Rana picked me at noon and we set on our road trip. I prefer not to drive up hill as I am scared from heights. Trust me when I say I am not a good road trip companion when on the roads of a mountain. Ask Ranya. On this trip my figure turned every color of the rainbow (#lovewins. not! ). Ranya is a very meticulous person. Whenever you say road trip, she says google map on speaker. Trusting that technological device we drove as Miss Maria (yes we named her) suggested. Let me tell you one think; never trust technology 100%. Its a device after all. She led us through dodgy routes and all I could notice is that we were being swift away towards the sky. Remember I am scared as hell from heights. Many times, our guide told us to turn right, straight to a ditch and God forbid the valley to our death. And if you don’t comply, her voice takes it a notch. She even yelled at us one time. I swear!!! We lost two hours of our time listening to Maria, ditched her sorry tech-ass and drove the old fashioned way. However I took this lovely picture on our way:

IMG_20150706_004944We arrived at Bsharre on time to explore the Cedars of God reserve where the last of these kind of trees are preserved. I was flabbergasted at the site of such greenery (lacking in the city) and serene atmosphere it emanated. The reserve is open from 9am to 6pm, last entrance being at 5:30. A few stops after absorbing the scenery and taking pictures, we wandered trough the pop up boutiques nearby selling hand crafted wooden souvenirs.

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Next stop:Ehden. This time we decided to ask as many locals we met on the road for the right directions and we arrived safe and sound to Ferdous, a local Lebanese restaurant with a view for a dinner. Honestly, I loved this place. Trust me when I say that’s a big thing, considering that food isn’t my cup of tea. We ordered the following and we were both fulfilled.

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The food was delicious, the staff overly friendly and welcoming. Value of price vs food correct. I would suggest anyone visting that part of the country to stop at Ferdous and have their meal. You won’t be disappointed (at all).

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Coming down to Beirut was tricky. It was pitch black. We were high up 1500m+ from the coast. I was scared. Literally scared. We passed through the village of Ehden. The ambiance was amazing. Youngsters were hanging at the cafes- restaurants. Women and children were wandering around the streets. I noticed many families gathered on their terrace drinking coffee/tea chattering and looking at the passerby. You could feel that everyone knew one another and the atmosphere was of a big happy family.

We took the highway down to hell (Beirut). We were following a driver who was heading back to the city, since we were both new to the surroundings. He was kind and reflected the hospitable citizens of Zgharta. I was livid and praying the whole trip back. Ranya even got me an ice-cream for my better behavior downwards (although deep inside i was in a worse state!!!)

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Three words to the people of Zgharta and specially Ehden; I love you!

xo

 

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Author: Patyl-Astrid

"Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the common place, the slaves of the ordinary." Cecile Beaton

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