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Sketching the borderlines between the waves and seas

‘In-house travel series 1 – Autumn | Tyre … Naqoura
October 15, 2016

Do the southern end of coastal stretches in countries look alike? Do we experience the same feelings and sense the places when gazing the horizons of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea? Do landscape characters of those spaces or the experienced stillness bring instantly flashbacks and sights from past travels?

A ‘purposeless’ journey to enjoy the blue scape in southern Lebanon awakened memories kept from the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, when visiting Portugal last year in November. That made me wonders about the identity of places and the feelings of belonging to spaces when tinted with green, blue and even brown colors. A full day spent in sketching the borderlines between the waves and the sea in Sarafand, Qlayle, Mansoureh, Naqoura to enjoy different hues and tonalities of blue colors, with a stop over in Tyre and an escapade to the foothills could brushed up the mood with sea’s and autumn’s colors.

In Sarafand, visiting the glass blowing factory could be a marvel. The diversity in glass colors, forms and shapes cuddled by crafters’ creativity, revive the temperance in human souls. Sarafand was known as Sarepta, the famous Phoenician city. It came into birth in the writings of an Egyptian traveller in the 14th century BCE.[1]  An iconic city in old times, it drew the boundary for Canaan named Zarephath- believed to become an eponym to smelter or metalworking shop in Hebrew.[2] It is acknowledged to be the place where prophet Elijah made his miracle.[3] The town features a Shia Shrine of Abu Dhar al-Ghifari who was the companion of the prophet Muhamed. It is said that the major discovery in Sarafand is the cult shrine of Astarte, the first identification of Tanit in her homeland.

At 10 kilometers from Tyre, scattered archaeological remains in Qlayle including a vaulted tomb and a water cistern were found in 1996. In this coastal town, the sepulchre of the prophet Umran, father of the Holy Virgin, is a landmark for tourists and visitors. In Mansoureh, the coastal road draws the foothills overlooking narrow shorelines with hues of blue colors at the beginning. On the way to Naqoura, different landscape character prevail wider sights on the hills and rocky shorelines. A ride on the hilly mountains in Al Bayada leads to Chamaa. The village located 430 meters above sea level, is named after the prophet Chamaa al-Safa and features an old fortress. The citadel built by the Crusaders in 1116 and taken by Mamluk in the 13th Century, has a strategic location. Visitor can enjoy a 360 degrees view embedding costal and hilly lands from Tyre to Israel. It is confined in walls and it is made up of the prophet’s memorial, citadel’s fort and old houses.

Leaving Chamaa and heading to Tyre, the hidden landscapes behind the western and northern rolling hills in southern Lebanon cannot but bring you back again and again to the undiscovered places in Nabatiyeh governorate. At the end of short or long journeys, a stop over in old Tyre for a short walk exploring the city and for a cup of coffee while looking at the horizon could be a time to rewind happy moments of the day.

Where to Eat? […among others]
In Qlayle- in Al Marsa Restaurant (03 840395, 70 734734) and other nearby restaurant; In Bayada- Coffee and Restaurant of Amwaj Bayada (71 522 220); In Naqoura- Al-Sayed Oven and rest (07 460 132).

Where to sleep? […among others]
In Bayada- Tyros resort (07 741027) offers meals, swimming pool and a playground for kids. In Mansoureh- Orange House (07 320 063) is a farmhouse eco-lodge offering bed and breakfast. In Naqoura- Rive de la Mer Resort (07 460468) and Luna motel (03 625 002). Nearby Tyre- Al-Yasmine guesthouse (03 372888) features a swimming pool, Tennis court, horseback riding and mini golf. In Tyre, Dar Alma guesthouse (07 740 082) gives you the opportunity to wake up at dawn and enjoy mediterranean sea breezes.

 
[1] Chabas, 1886.
[2] Mentioned in Jewish Antiquities by Josephus in the 1st century CE and in Natural History by Pliny (wikipedia)
[3] Mentioned in the first book of kings and Luke’s Gospel (wikipedia)
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