. OnHiatus.com > Journal 1 > Day Index > Journal Entry: March 25, 1998

Wednesday, March 25, 1998
Beirut, Lebanon
Lebanon's FlagGreater Beirut's Flag

Beirut, Lebanon:
Latitude: 33° 53' 58" North
Longitude: 35° 28' 40" East
Altitude: 274 feet
From Seattle: 8262 miles
Lodging: Hotel - San Lorenzo Hotel

Today's Travel:
Country: Lebanon
Region: Greater Beirut
Route: Service Taxi, Bus, Taxi
Start: Beirut, Lebanon
Stop 1. Jeita Grotto
End:Beirut, Lebanon
Linear:18 miles
Weather: Sunny

Available Photos:

Decorated building Hamra, Beirut, Lebanon

All photo images © 1997-2000 Anthony Jones - Images may not be used without prior written approval.

Click on map to Zoom in...
Trip Stats to Date:
Day: 349
Linear Dist: 96662
Countries Visited: 29
Regions Visited: 112
More stats...
Hotels: 68
Friends / Family: 98
Camping: 38
Hostels: 113
Transit: 32
Beers: 1434

Journal Entry:
Went by the tourist office (they were closed yesterday when I went by). Looked over the flyers they gave me at lunch, and decided to head to Jeita Grotto (about 10 miles away). Lebanon's public transportation system is virtually non-existant. Basically you have to rely on taxis and service (shared) taxis. To get to Jeita I was able to catch a service taxi, a bus, then a normal taxi (expensive). To get back I had to take a Taxi all the way (very expensive).

The Grotto itself was somewhat of a let down. The rock formations in the caverns wereas good as, or maybe even better than, any I've ever seen before (Carlsbad Caverns, Jewel Cave, Wind Cave, Lewis and Clark, etc), but the walk is perfectly poured concrete and the cave is lit up so well that it comes off as very sterile. The last three caves I've been in (Ma'tya's, Budapest; Jewel, South Dakota; and Mammouth, Kentucky) have involved getting dirty and squeezeing through tight, dark spots, basically getting personal with the cave. I felt like the presentation at Jeita robbed the cave of its magic. Also the tourist facilities are huge concrete monstrosities that have destoryed the beauty of the canyon. There is a train and a cable car to save visitors a three minute walk (I don't think either was needed, but why both?)

Droped by the internet place to pick up my email then set off to see a movie. I went and saw Seven Years in Tibet which I've been trying to see since I got to Europe. It was silly at times but I realy enjoyed it, and I loved the photography. I can't wait to visit Tibet. Since China has signed the UN human rights pact I wonder if the Dali Lama is going to be able to return to Tibet soon?

After the movie I grabed diner (more shwarma) and droped by a live music club, Blues Alley, that had been recomended. Music wasn't scheduled to start until 11 pm, and a beer was 10,000 Lira (about US$7), so I left after one. I didn't feel like going to bed yet so I went back to the Internet cafe and worked on my mapping software until midnight.

Related Sites:
CNN: Current Weather in Beirut
US State Department Consular Information Sheets: Lebanon
CIA World Fact Book: Lebanon

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