National Geographic goes Metn
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on April 14, 2008
My afternoon with H had been advertised as a “hike”, but in the end I think we spent far more time driving than walking. (Of course, said my friend C when I told him about it yesterday. It was a Lebanese hike. What did you expect?) But that was fine – it was a beautiful day for a drive as well, and I loved seeing the hills (and sheep, and goats, and cows – and all the roadside garbage) roll past us.
We did get out in the end, though, and parked at a beautiful spot looking up at a copse of trees and a small stream:
I tried to take a close-up of the stream, but H said: its beautiful, but the water has carved the rocks so perfectly that they look like a Disney World reproduction. When I zoomed in, I realized that he was right: they did look like Disney World – or maybe like the cascading stream at the Dead Sea Movenpick, to go a bit more local.
Our stroll took us down from the other side of the road, into what we decided must have been designed as roughly terraced pasture. No crops were being grown, and the land was filled with large chunks of rock, but many had been arranged into terrace supports.
What convinced us that it was, or had been, pasture were the “drinking troughs” carved out on the flat surfaces of some of the truly massive boulders:
The water was less than fresh, and rocks had been piled up in the troughs, but we got the general idea (or at least, we think that we got the general idea – but if not, someone please enlighten us!).
Some of the boulders were truly amazing, like this one, whose sliced-away surface must have been the result of centuries of narrow but steady water flow:
All in all, it was a lovely stroll, until we discovered a dead cow in the lower end of the stream (don’t worry: there are no photos! And even better: there is no smell. In situ, I can assure you that the smell was vile.) and a number of suspiciously large prints on the dirt path we found:
Smaller than a lion print … larger than the average Golden Lab. I was less than thrilled; H, who has been trying to sell me on Lebanon, took it as a point of pride.
You know, he said, Lebanon has had lions and tigers, as well as the coyotes and hyenas we have now.
Hmm. Not the information I wanted to hear – or the pitch I needed. But since it was still mid-afternoon, I reasoned that the print must have come from a … large … errr … sheep-dog … and we continued our stroll.
More bucolic images tomorrow – with apologies to F*** Lebanon, who kindly added me to his blogroll and now must be wondering what kind of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm changeling has appeared here 🙂 .