Meeting other bloggers
Yesterday, this subject was brought up over dinner in La Estancia, where I had the amazing privilege of spending it with Sietske & MarrillionLb (and his better half, as he calls her), Call it destiny or a mere coincidence that we ended up having dinner together, but all I can say is, I loved listening to them talk about Lebanon, about Europe, about the different cultures, life abroad, life in Lebanon, war, Hezbollah, political parties, work, how we perceive things in life. It was quite a night, and I only regret arriving to "La Estancia" beaten by exhaustion, but I still managed to listen and concentrate, and of course, enjoy the really delicious food and dessert at La Estancia.
Anyway back to our topic, the enthusiasm and excitement that Sietske manifested concerning Mlita museum encouraged me so much to really visit this place. So hopefully I will very soon. I've been twice to the south but never really attained the satisfaction of walking in its streets and really getting to know that region.
The museum is now open starting May 25, the anniversary of the Israeli pullout, that is now marked as a national holiday. Some Israeli Merkavas are on display as well. This will be the newest tourist attraction.
Sietske told us that in addition to the museum, there are plans (very ambitious ones) to actually have something that will become similar to a national park, with pools and spas and the like, it is going to be huge, or so it seems.
Let's hope the Israelis don't bomb it anytime soon. Yep, this is a typical Lebanese "full of fear" comment, I personally live under the umbrella of war and that it might erupt anytime. I wouldn't categorize it as paranoia, because I think it's pretty justified. We're too scared to tell ourselves good things so we don't jinx Lebanon: "This year there won't be a war, and this year we're going to have even more tourists than we did in 2009".
The July war happened in 2006 where over 1200 Lebanese died. 3 years later, Lebanon receives the highest number of tourists in a decade or so.
What's in store for summer 2010?
If all goes well, I am predicting godzilla traffics, godzilla hotel overbooking, jammed Gemmayze and Hamra and Monot and Alay and Ehden and Broummana and Kaslik. Over priced everything. Reservations to make reservations. No more cars to be rented out. Too many weddings. Too many parties. Too many beach parties. Non-Lebanese malls. Cultural diversity at festivals. Sand and Sun. Booz.
Photo sources: Sietske in Beiroet