Monday, June 27, 2011

Shrubberies (Nothing Too Expensive).

Finally! A photo. This is the Crusader castle at Byblos, by the sea.

Another view:

This is a view into the Qadisha Valley from the steps of the Gibran Khalil Gibran museum. Gibran was a Lebanese-American poet, artist, and writer, probably best known for his work "The Prophet". Taking pictures inside the actual museum is not allowed, but there must be photos floating out there, somewhere. A former monastary carved into the side of a mountain, the museum is a beautiful space filled with his writings and original artworks, as well as the site of his final resting place. Gibran emigrated to Boston in his younger years, and only made it back to his hometown of Bsharri after his death.

"Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking." - Gibran

I have a thing for doors - especially closed ones.

The symbol of Lebanon, Cedrus libani. There used to be giant forests of it carpeting the mountains, but all that is left now is a tiny patch. Mentioned abundantly in the Bible, the trees were used to build King Solomon's temple in Jerusalem, ships for those itinerant Phoenicians, and as an ingredient for mummifaction in ancient Egypt. More recently, they have provided inspiration for the megaband U2, resulting in the subpar, kind of depressingly atmospheric song "The Cedars of Lebanon". The trees are very very large, and obviously, very, very old.

More to come.


  1. Hello Maggie:
    What absolutely breathtaking images you treat us to today! The view from the Museum steps across the valley is truly remarkable and one can but marvel at how the place was built in such a seemingly inaccessible situation.

    And yes, we understand and share your fascination with doors, especially when the view beyond is tantalisingly kept hidden. In Budapest, so very often large wooden doors facing the street open to the most intriguing courtyards, a world away from the hustle and bustle of the pavement.

  2. Budapest is a place I often daydream about, if only because the mere promise of it seems to embody a fairytale come to life. I have never been, but I imagine myself alighting from a luxury train, wandering through romantic lanes, perhaps opening a door(just as you describe) into a lush courtyard cafe where I could have a cup of tea and maybe a lovely pastry.

    I do make a wonderful rigo janci, by the way. Nothing like a dessert named for a seductive violinist....

  3. Maggie, I loved this post. Please keep taking me on this journey, both through the eyes of your lens and your pen.

    Miss you.

  4. Thanks Suze, for your friendship, for everything.

  5. Back atcha, sweet thing.

    Btw, I'm crossing my fingers for another batch of cherry-limeade cupcakes before the summer is through ... just so you know.

  6. Fantastic photos.

    We have lots of cedar out this way [other side of the planet]. It's a shame most in Lebanon are gone.

  7. Thanks for sharing these awesome photos.

    I'm also fascinated by doors. I adore decorative ones. And ever since childhood I've hoped to stumble on a secret or trapdoor.

  8. Just been looking through posts I have missed, about your travels, very interesting, am loving your blog.

  9. Oh, I had no idea there were only a handful of those trees left! :( I am so looking forward to seeing them in person!