Many people I encounter are unfamiliar with Lebanon. Sometimes that is surprising given the number of references to the Cedars of Lebanon in the Bible, but then again, that is a big book. It the past I have been asked about the camels and most people are shocked when I respond that they don't have camels in Lebanon (well maybe there is one somewhere but they aren't common). Most think of the Middle East as all desert and while there is plenty of desert in the region, Lebanon is blessed to have beautiful scenery at every turn. Even more surprising to some is the fact that you can be skiing in the mountains in the morning and after a 45 minute drive you can be swimming in the Mediterranean. Yes, it's true. We were in the car driving along the corniche and there was a photo that I was unable to capture but it is embedded in my memory. It was the scene of an enormous palm tree with the snow-capped mountains behind it. I wanted so badly to be able to post that picture on my blog. Instead I will share a few pictures that give you a better idea of the landscapes and scenes that are most common in Lebanon.
Pictured are olive trees, a kumquat and a tree that is a member of the cedar family. We didn't drive in an area where I spotted pines. Their pine trees are the variety that produce pine nuts - yum!
In these pictures we were on a mountain top where a 5th century monastery is located. From this point we were looking down over the sea.
The original church at this particular monastery is a cave that was carved out of the side of the mountain which has also been pictured here.
More again tomorrow.