Category Archives for Lebanon


Friday Photo Essay: Lebanon Flowers

Red and gold poppy

In spring and summer Lebanon flowers. The countryside bursts into bloom. There are flowers in the ruins, flowers on the razorwire, flowers in the souks… And they’re just plain old-fashioned gorgeous. To be honest, these photos look a bit tired now I’ve seen what I can do with my lovely new lenses. I’m finally upgrading […]


Egypt?! What Was I THINKING?!


I was less than sanguine about returning to Dahab. Sure, I love Dahab. And as a quiet, beautiful, cost-effective place in which to work with minimal distraction, it would be my top pick in the Middle East. That doesn’t mean I was happy about it. Because, even before the recent flawlessly-timed coup, I was more […]


Yep, Definitely Time To Leave This Town


This post is REALLY family-unfriendly. The next one will be perfectly fragrant, I promise, but in the interim here’s a post on the life lessons kids learn from travel, one on Singapore Slings and one on a nuclear test village in the Outback. I arrive at the bar in a state of high dudgeon, not […]


Dear Reader, I Am Extremely Out of Practice


A spectacularly family-unfriendly post, I’m afraid, dear readers: here’s one on a Chinese supermarket and another on a very bad road in Indonesia. Younger readers, steer well clear: here’s one on things to do in Bali with kids and one on things to do with kids in London. In Z’s absence, relieved from the responsibilities […]


Coming to Terms with Facial Scarring in Beirut

Sign reading bar open

Even by my standards, this post is not very family-friendly. You might want to try this one instead. Younger readers: this is going to be really, really boring and utterly incomprehensible to you for several decades. Why don’t you read about this amazing rollercoaster? I’ve spent the last few days bar reviewing in Beirut, solo, […]


A 12-Step Guide To Driving in Lebanon


Driving in Lebanon can be, well, challenging for folk who are used to driving in places with road rules. The Lebanese drive with a verve, panache and flexibility that is often just plain terrifying, especially when driving in Beirut. On the plus side, car hire is cheap (Advanced Car Rental offers new, fully insured little […]


Exploring Tyre Old Town

Shutters and windows of Tyre Old Town, Lebanon.

Given the chap with the moustache has offered intensive, and, further, only discreetly amused assistance in my parking fiasco, I feel we should eat in his restaurant. But first we need to find somewhere to stay. The guidebook recommends Al Fanar, up by the lighthouse, so I figure we’ll wander up that way. “Do you […]


A Dignified Entrance to the Historic City of Tyre

avenue of flowers in the Al-Bass historical site at Tyre, Lebanon.

“Where does the motorway end?” I say, for the third time. I mean, clearly the motorway HAS ended. I’ve just driven through a checkpoint manned by South Korean soldiers and adorned with signs about the glory of Korea and petrol cans full of concrete decorated with the Lebanese cedar flag to find the road terminating […]


On the Trail of the Phoenicians – Sidon

Crusader sea fort at Sidon, Lebanon.

One of many things that makes the Middle East worthwhile is the sense that you’re walking in history, amid names and places that are embedded deep in your cultural DNA. In the Sinai, we walked in the footsteps of Moses; we trailed Cleopatra down the Nile; assuming Israel lets us in, we’ll be seeing both […]


The Friday Photo: Silk and Silk Moths


This is a piece of eighteenth century ecclesiastical silk from Italy. And below are the bizarre creatures that produced it: silk moths, at the end of their entirely captive lifecycle, crawling out of their cocoons, unable to fly, and starting, almost instantly, to breed again. I like the way the two pictures form similar patterns. […]