Saturday, September 18, 2010

Catching Up

A lot has gone unrecorded.  I know….one would think I have all the time in the world, sitting out here in the desert, to keep current.  The issue was the difficulty of my computer crashing…..which took with it pictures of our then, latest trip to Lebanon. So by the time I received it back, it was then time to travel again.   Fortunately, I had just the day before ordered some of the pics. So today I have scanned them one by one.

IMG_0001 A “street” of stairs climbing  up to several homes.

A colleague, of John’s, is from Beirut, Lebanon.  He suggested when we were tired of viewing the sand landscape here in Kuwait to go visit his beloved home, with hills, and flowers and grass, vineyards…….So we took a long weekend in June to visit this beautiful country. 

We are not big city folk.   So you won’t  see pics of Beirut, although we stayed in the City Center where a huge reconstruction project is underway. Many buildings still show remains of conflict the city  has endured; blownout walls of 10 story buildings and the rubble surrounding them. Armed police were very noticeable and as we toured the area, there were checkpoints.IMG_0009_NEW                           I took this from our moving car after passing through.

Telal, our friend, gave us a list of places to visit.  He had arranged for a driver, not only for safety, but to guide us.  That started out wonderfully; a  young man, who could speak English, was more than happy to speak of his homeland and answer our questions. However, after the first sight seeing place………..he met us anxiously stating he was called home for a family emergency, but to not worry he would have a replacement meet us in the morning. Oh man…..the remainder of our weekend became more of an adventure than we had bargained for.


A polite, smiling professional looking driver greeted us with a nod, when we said Good Morning.  Our best of communicating with him was to show him the list Telal had given us…..not knowing if he understood and if we would actually get there.  The terrain is rocky and mountainous with a lot of curvy roads and this driver drove fast….very fast….more than once a squeal escaped me.

We did manage to visit many of the places on Telal’s list.  And one afternoon we spent visiting the only one on our list!  To explore the Cedars Nature Reserve.


. The cedar forests of Lebanon have the unique distinction as the oldest documented forests in history. The cedars were important enough in the history of man to be traceable to the very earliest written records, that of the Sumerians in the third millennium BC.


People around the world know of the cedars of Lebanon because of the numerous references in the Hebrew texts of the Old Testament. The Bible records in some detail how King Solomon, King of Israel, requested King Hiram of Tyre to supply cedar wood and to build a temple and a palace in Jerusalem. They are known as
"Arz el Rab" or Cedars of God, the trees are among the last survivors of the immense forests that lay across Mount Lebanon in ancient times. Their timber was exploited by the Assyrians, Babylonians and Persians as well as the residents of Canaan-Phoenicia.

Cedar trees may reach 100 ft in height and produce spreading branches that split off from the main trunk.What I found unusual is the upright cones that are about 4 in. long. The cones mature in about two years.  We noticed that under the trees it appeared that the ground was cultivated. There is no way people could tend to a forest of trees….!???we were told by our guide that  wild boar dig around these trees for food.  Their tusks cultivate the seeds, thus reforestation occurs.There are 12  trees that are over one thousand years old, and about 400 that are more than one hundred in this reserve.. A major reforestation program was undertaken not long ago, Cedars grow slowly.The fruits of these efforts will only be appreciable in decades to come.
















                                                                           Aren’t they lovely? 

IMG_0001_NEW A guide drove us up the mountain to the grove of trees.  The twisting, winding road had our heads looking every direction not only at the Cedars, but the many wild flowers in bloom.  We decided to walk our way down to the waiting car with driver….it took us about 2 1/2 hours, a nice walk breathing in the fresh air.IMG_0002_NEW Was hoping to come across at least one of these critters….


Anonymous said...

OMG Deb, These pictures are beautiful! I remember you telling me about the driver issue, but as always, you guys make the best of it!!! Love u, cath