A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

Sunday in the mountains with St. Charbel

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on February 26, 2007

Yesterday was still rainy – a cold pelting rain accompanied by biting winds. It would have been a good stay-at-home-and-drink-tea day, but I was invited to join some friends on a trip to Deir Mar Charbel, St. Charbel’s monastery up in Annaya, in the Lebanon mountains.

Once we began climbing up into the mountains, a thick fog joined the rain and wind. It was difficult to see much beyond the car, but happily I am a serene passenger, oblivious to hairpin turns, skidding tires, and dangerously deep puddles. For me the weather only made the monastery and the saint’s hermitage all the more magical.

The rain was coming down too hard for me to stand outside and take photographs of the buildings themselves (even with one of my new and very much appreciated umbrellas!), but I did take a few photographs from various overhangs.



These two above were taken through the iron slats of an open passageway at the hermitage.


This photo I took near the monastery proper – its a guesthouse, or restaurant, or something. The building is nice, but what really struck me were the trees.



Another view near the monastery.


and a misty view into the mountains …

After leaving the monastery we went down to Jounieh and had lunch at a lovely seaside restaurant, where we watched the waves crash wildly into the shore.

Two of us ordered argilehs, which presented a rather unexpected political dilemma when we were given our plastic mouthpieces. My tablemate was given orange – the color of Aoun. Don’t you have other colors? she asked the argileh man. Sorry, he told her.

I was given a choice: orange or … red. I went with the latter – its not often that an American gets the chance to safely try out an affiliation with Communism!


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