Monday, August 06, 2012

Beirut - Day 6

Today was more of a tourist day in order to give us and our translators a break. Instead of the regular schedule, we met early and headed out by bus. We stopped at a Wooden Bakery for breakfast, and then continued on to the Jeita Grotto.

We took a gondula ride up to the Upper Grotto and then a tram down to the Lower Grotto. The Upper Grotto was similar to many other underdown caverns I've visted, but the Lower Grotto was quite unique. There is a lake in the Lower Grotto and so you get on a boat to tour it. What was particularly unique about our visit there is that the power went out while we were on the lake. The person operating the boat indicated that it's the only time that's ever happened that he knows of while visitors were on the lake. When the lights came back on, we discovered we were only inches away from one of the walls. At times we used the light from a couple people's cell phones in order to navigate through the caverns.

Next stop was Our Lady of Lebanon, which offers and incredible view of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. After that we went to the city of Byblos, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. Our last stop was at the Manuella Restaurant for dinner.

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