Last week we went to Lebanon. It was really not our best trip ever – but we can’t wait to go back! It wasn’t Lebanon’s fault it just wasn’t a great trip…. it wasn’t our fault…. it was just one of those things… or several of those things…..!
It started with a phonecall the night before we went from our travel agent telling us the flight was fine, the hotel was fine, but their company in Beirut wouldn’t drive us between the two… why??? Because there was too much snow! Well hey, we were going skiing – snow is good right??? So, with Tommy working for a Lebanese company he got onto some colleagues and sorted alternative transport – so far so good! We checked the snow reports and all seemed good at the resort so a little snow on the road wasn’t going to stop us!!
Next day, off we go to the airport – board the plane – us, plus my parents – all good – except that my seatback TV doesn’t work – which isn’t a big drama except that I’m not a good flier and I NEED the distraction when on planes!! And then the plane got hit by lightening – OMG – that’s not a good thing for a bad flier to go through!!! Big flash and jolt of the cabin, screams of Oh My God and and lots of praising Allah and we seem to be still flying… OK pheweeee – but please get me on the ground – and fast!!!! (I’m totally underplaying the drama of this by the way – yes, I really thought I was going to die)
Journey to the ski resort starts off well – until we hit the snow – and our driver starts to realise that maybe he’s not cut out for this kind of driving – great!!! But to his credit he got hold of a snow taxi and we all piled in and got there just fine – albeit through a whiteout!!!!
A minor altercation with the hotel staff (who informed me that food and beds weren’t included for the kids – seriously, we only paid like AED200 less for the kids than for the adults – there had better be food and beds for my kids!!!!) and we settled into our lovely suite of 2 adjoining rooms – aaaaaahhhhh…. time for the much needed first beer of the holiday!!!
The hotel was lovely – the food was pretty decent and the rooms were great – but there was snow, lots of snow, lots and lots and lots of snow and the ski lifts never opened for the whole time we were there – and it snowed a lot and we couldn’t easily get out of the hotel and when we did nothing was open and we couldn’t see where we were going in the crazy whiteout!!!! So, you know, it was a good job it was a nice hotel!!!
And we started to wonder about how we’d get back to Beirut!!! But we did – thanks to a great snow taxi who drove us through a lot of snow, and through some pretty ferocious floods as we ventured down the valley – and then led us into a city full of army roadblocks!!! I’m sure if you live there it’s all pretty normal but we really weren’t sure what was going on – and why there were riot police and tanks on the street corners – cos it wasn’t like that when we passed through a few days before!! We were driving down a motorway and were suddenly hit by a wall of cars reversing back up – and even some that had turned around and were driving the wrong way up the highway!!! Seriously, cars, driving the wrong way up a 4 lane motorway, as we approach them at speed!!! We wondered if we’d missed something – Lebanon bordering some pretty major conflict zones and all that! And then we got caught up in a mob of protesters – surging around the car, waving flags, chanting, throwing their fists in the air and generally protesting loudly about something!!! I was very glad for blackout windows on our car when I saw that they were pro Assad Syrian protestors.The kids asked lots of questions about all the men with guns and the tanks and it actually prompted an interesting chat where Tommy was able to tell them how that was a common sight where he grew up. The concept of war was so lost on them – the innocence of children huh…..
So once we’d ascertained that this was all that was going on, and it was only because it was the weekend we left my parents at their Beirut hotel and headed off for a large gin and tonic at the airport!!! (or maybe 2 because our flight was delayed!!).
and I purchased an evil eye charm before the flight… y’know… just to be sure…
I’ll update on the fun in the snow we had inbetween the hairy moments soon!!! (and I must import our pics from our trip to Syria a few years ago soon too!!)