The Holy Kadisha Valley of Northern Lebanon

Trip Start Apr 22, 2011
Trip End May 15, 2011

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Flag of Lebanon  , Liban-Nord,
Friday, April 29, 2011

We have our longest day today, as we drive north along the coast to Chekka and then turn inland to explore one of the most picturesque regions of the country – the Kadisha (Qadicha) Valley. It is also called the Holy Valley because of the number of monasteries and convents which have been built here.

We take our first coffee break at Amioun, then continue on up the valley (making many photo-stops along the way) until we reach Kadisha at the very end of the valley, surrounded by snow-covered peaks in a horseshoe shape. The oldest ski resort in Lebanon is located here, as well as another Cedar Forest Reserve. We hike in the Reserve up into the snow-line, and have a sudden thunderstorm with pelting hail to add to the excitement.

After lunch our next stop is Ehden, which also happens to be the ancestral home of one of our tour participants. We stop at the historic village square to have a toast to his home-coming. Many of us are distracted by television images in a nearby shop of the Royal Wedding.

Our next visit is deep down in the valley at the Monastery of Kozhaya dedicated to St. Anthony. The on to Tripoli, which is the second-largest city in Lebanon. (The Lebanese call the Tripoli in Libya "Tripoli West.") We stop at a famous sweet shop there for refreshments before beginning the drive back to Beirut. The sun comes out again over the sea as we conclude our final sightseeing excursion for this portion of the tour. Tomorrow is a free day with the Farewell Dinner, and Sunday we head for Jordan!
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Mike Shaughnessy on

I kick myself for not having been on this amazing tour!

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