Images of Beirut – East Meets West

Beirut is a city of style, chaos and deeply ingrained history. I was lucky enough to spend a weekend here and capture lots of images of Beirut – it’s an absolutely wonderful city to explore and it’s inhabitants are overwhelmingly friendly. Amidst a constant cacophony of car horns, shopkeepers and cafe owners beckon you inside wanting to chat and feed you their freshest dish or show you the latest output of a local designer. In fact, one of my favourite dresses was bought from a small boutique shop in the city.

Images of Beirut - East Meets West

The corniche is beautiful to stroll along, day or night – it’s wide, paved walkways are filled with lovestruck teenagers, fishermen and locals drinking the very thick and strong lebanese coffee or watching the brave souls that go for a dip in the Mediterranean. It’s a gentler pace than the generally chaotic nature of the city and a stone’s throw from the world-class American university, with it’s stylish and glamorous students.

Not so far away, the Holiday Inn stands tall, derelict and riddled with bullet holes and graffiti – seen as a strategic military asset when the civil war broke out, it’s a stark reminder of Beirut’s dark and volatile past and has become a symbol of war. Public entry is forbidden and there has been talk of it being put up for auction for a number of years.

Images of Beirut - East Meets West

There are numerous small underground bars that fill the air with all sorts of live music come nightfall – Beirut is a city that knows how to party. It’s residents are so full of life and vitality, and taking the teleferique (cable car) up and over the hills from Jounieh, you get a glimpse into their lives by getting up close and personal to their apartment windows and balconies which are no more than a few metres away.

Images of Beirut - East Meets West

The guest house I stayed in, Hayete, was one of the oldest in the city – it was in a beautiful colonial building and consisted of four simple rooms each facing a different compass point. Although crumbling and cracked on the outside, the inside was a curious mix of traditional and intricate eastern style and really modern, clean-lined western design influences. This really summed up Beirut for me as a city of opposites – chaos and calm, vitality and discouragement, prosperity and hardship, modernity and traditionalism, east and west. The city really is whatever you make it to be.

Images of Beirut - East Meets West



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10 Replies to “Images of Beirut – East Meets West”

  1. Oh wow!!!!!!! I have never heard of this place!!! Now, however, I really want to go!!!! The way you described it and the pictures you used were amazing!!!!!!! Beautiful place and it sounds so welcoming. Do you do a lot of traveling to different places? I have only been to different places in the U.S. but I aspire to go to other countries too.

    1. Hi, thanks for your comment 🙂

      Yes I do travel around quite a lot – all the places I’ve written about are listed down the right hand site of my blog 🙂

      I aim to get to many more in the future! The US is a big country to explore – I imagine it would take a lifetime to just see everything it has to offer! I’ve been there a couple of times and am very much looking forward to returning.

      Louise

  2. I loved your post! While reading it, it almost felt like I was there walking down the streets and being in cafes.
    Your pictures are gorgeus, they make me want to visit that town.
    Keep on making great posts like that, I sure would like to read some more from you!

    1. Hi Caroline,

      No, I don’t think it gets too many tourists……it really is a beautiful city though and so full of life 🙂

  3. WOW! What a really fascinating trip! Really great job and taking me with you in this blog post. I didn’t know anything about Beirut so thank you for introducing me!

    Best,
    Rebecca

  4. I’m really interested by your post as I was led to believe Beirut/Lebanon generally were still not considered safe for tourists. I take it you didn’t feel that when you were there? Were you able to travel to other parts of the country? Thanks for sharing, it’s increased my desire to go there even further!

    1. Hi Jill,

      It felt safe when I was there but there have been times when it’s not been – I probably could have travelled to other parts of the country but unfortunately only had 3 days so didn’t have a chance! I’m glad you enjoyed my post 🙂

      Louise

  5. I loved your descriptions of your guest house with its mixture of history and modernity. It’s great that posts such as yours are out there to help promote tourism in Beirut. The teleferique cable car sounds like a lot of fun. I always like doing activities like that in new places I visit and enjoy bird’s eye views. The underground bars sound like the perfect way to finish off an evening and a great place to meet the locals!

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