When I left Jounieh by boat (the airport in Beirut was bombed and closed) almost 32 years ago to start a new life with my German husband, I had completely lost hope for a peaceful life in Lebanon. I had forgotten its beauty; I had forgotten its majestic mountains, its cedars, its blue sea, its beaches and its rich history. Not an easy decision to take, but I took it and stayed away for three years in a row, the longest time I had ever managed to be away of the land of the cedars. Ever since the ugly Civil War ended in 1990, I have been travelling back and forth to visit my family, and to rediscover my amazing home country with its amazing people. Like most expats visiting each year in summer, I find myself repeating trips to my favourite destinations in Lebanon. It feels good to find those ancient historical sights, those traditional villages and quaint places waiting for me. The Cedars in Bsharri were among them this year.
Arriving very early at the Cedars of God reserve, my sister and I had the forest exclusively for us. I wish I could describe the peacefulness of the place in words. My only hope is that the photos have captured the serenity and calmness we felt around us. I think they have!
To prolong our hike we ventured outside the reserve walking on a trail back to the village. We walked about 10 km to our final destination, a cute little restaurant almost in the middle of nowhere.