Lebanon

The Middle East has interested me for some time. Unfortunately, travel to some countries in the region would be… unwise…

I’ve worked with a few Lebanese-Australians in various jobs and each of them, after hearing my stories of travel in Southeast Asia, said that Lebanon would be my cup of tea.

And so I went.

Because of its location between Europe and the Arabian peninsula, Lebanon is a country with an ancient and turbulent history. It shows a very strong influence from both cultures. I don’t think there are too many cities besides Beirut where you could be enjoying a beer at a rooftop bar while the mosque down the street broadcasts the call to evening prayer.

The people are amazingly friendly and accommodating, exhibiting that famous Mediterranean hospitality.

Lebanon is a country which was until recently at war, and the presence of military patrols and checkpoints as well as bullet-scarred buildings were reminders of the country’s strife in the not-too-distant past. Even now there are tensions at the southern border with Israel, and the presence of Daesh (ISIS) in neighbouring Syria is a constant worry.

I stayed mainly in Beirut but had a couple of days in Baalbek in the east of Lebanon where there are some of the best preserved ancient Roman ruins in the world. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much else of this beautiful country due to becoming ill for about a week. I’m determined to make it back sometime soon to explore more.

02

Beirut building damaged by gunfire.

03

Beirut building damaged by gunfire.

04

05

French colonial building in Beirut

06

French colonial building in Beirut

07

French colonial building in Beirut

08

Pigeon Rocks, Beirut

09

The Mediterranean coast

10

Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque, Beirut

11

Interior of Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque

12

New residential towers in downtown Beirut

13

Roman ruins, Baalbek

14

The temple of Bacchus in Baalbek

15

Beta Valley view from the Roman ruins in Baalbek

16

The temple of Bacchus in Baalbek

17

Mosque in Baalbek

18

What’s left of the Holiday Inn in downtown Beirut. Used as a sniper position during the Lebanese Civil War. The building has been condemned and has been empty for decades.

19

French colonial building in Beirut

20

Beirut pizza shop in a building damaged by the war.

22

A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut

23

A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut

24

A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut

25

A street in Hazmiyeh, a neighbourhood in southern Beirut

26

New residential tower in downtown Beirut

Advertisements

International Fleet Review Combined Navies Parade

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the commision of the Royal Australian Navy, an international fleet review has been held in Sydney.

Today members of various navies marched from The Rocks to Town Hall in downtown Sydney where they were reviewed by Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, the governer-General of Australia.

AUS_7289

AUS_7316

AUS_7330

AUS_7375

AUS_7383

AUS_7391

AUS_7399

AUS_7412

AUS_7418

AUS_7433

AUS_7439

AUS_7452

AUS_7512

Memento Mori

In January 2013 a memorial stele honouring journalists and war correspondents who were killed during the Cambodian civil war was unveiled in the park in front of Hotel le Royal in Phnom Penh. The hotel was home to most of the foreign journalists covering the war which lasted from 1970 until 1975.

Thirty seven journalists from twelve different countries perished during the five years of civil war which preceded the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

KMH_5565

KMH_5566