December 11, 2008

Why Do You Stick Around?

So Kevin wonders what makes me stick around. Well, there are days that I wonder about that myself too, probably less so than many people as I am in the comfortable position of not only one paid job, but two, and this country is definitely more enjoyable when you have money.

But why do I stick around? I could go on about that one for hours and hours! It was absolutely love at first sight when I set foot on Beirut airport in January of 1990. This place felt real, absolutely real. And when, three years later, I found the man of my life, it was most undeniably to his benefit that he had this country as one of his assets.

But why do I stick around? Well, to give you a little taste of that, just take a look at what I saw yesterday while I had the day off (another benefit of Lebanon; the incredible number of religious holidays), and went for a random ride through the mountains. Pictures appear in chronological order.
Enjoy! (because I sure as heck did while making them!)
A little road through a forest (we don't have too many of those, hence the picture)

We have a fantastic layered landscape, all sedimentary rock. Those layers are basically all different types of marine animals, mixed in with sea soil. Lebanon used to be a tropical lagoon, but you'd have to be into geology to appreciate that. The colors are not photoshopped; the light is fabulous at the end of the day.

Karstic rocks, they react very strongly to the acid in rainwater (some acid occurs naturally). The Hamas founder (now blown up) once instructed me on that.

You can see the anticlyne in the mountain face (geologist talk). Lots of synclines too.
Life is not too easy in these regions. Some agriculture, but from the looks of it, people make a marginal existence. One side of the mountain has all muslim villages; the other side of the valley is the domain of the christians. The light by now (4:35 P.M.) is absolutely stunning!
Every time I drive here, I wish I could mountain climb. Fantastic rock formations. Actually, I should just quit my job and explore this region. Parts of Lebanon are totally barren and deserted. As if you are in the middle of nowhere, they have an almost lunar quality to them, especially around dusk.
And look at these foreigners; they like it here so much that even at the age of 87 (left) and 93 (right), they still come for their holidays to Lebanon (okay, so they happen to be my parents).
These pictures were taken on the road to and from Afqa, by the way.


Kheireddine said...

Wonderful pictures Seitske! What is amazing in Lebanon is the diversity of landscape in this small country :)

Theo said...

Mooie foto's, Siets. Dan is Weert wel wat anders!
Ligt er al sneeuw? Zag gisteren bij de Makro een mooie set ski's en kreeg onmiddelijk zin!

Maria said...

I love that area. You should take a drive up there in spring when the snow is melting. All the apple blossoms are out and everything is green.
Also that cave is supposed to be where Astarte (Aphrodite) found Adonis was gored by a boar. There are remains of an old remple there too.