When I got out of work today, the weather was wonderful, so soft and mild. The light was just right, getting close to dusk, and the sun was low.
Beirut Corniche at 5:00 P.M.
I had just gotten out of a meeting with some Lebanese colleagues of mine, and boy, those meetings are fun, and I am not being sarcastic. There’s something in the air when you get a group of married Lebanese women together; there’s nothing that will fool them. “I paid the price once, honey, and I don’t intend to pay all my life,” one of them once told me. Strong women. The mood was good and so I decided to take the long way back home, along the seaside.
The Corniche is at its best just around 5; almost empty. There are a few joggers here and there, some couples walking, but that’s it.
My Jumping Jack Flash with her mix & match socks
The sunflower-seed-spitters are gone, the ‘shebab’ who will try their luck with anything female, whether 15 or 55, are at home with their mommies, the families with 23 kids on tricycles are having dinner, and the miss world inline skaters are probably in the gym.
And so you have the Corniche to yourself. The sun is setting in the sea, the Lebanon Mountains are bathed in a salmon-pinkish light, and the copper reflection of the window panes in the east make it look like there’s little fires all over the hills. This is the only time of the day you get to see the mountains clearly, all the way to Jbeil (Byblos).
So if you ever plan to 'do' Beirut, only walk the Corniche around sunset.
Two ladies hanging out
I’m all lyrical about the Corniche, yet there are people that won’t set a foot there. My hubbie, being one of them. Another friend says she’d rather stay home than walk ‘there’. Other friends, however, walk the stretch from the ‘hamem el-askari’ (Military Beach) to McDonalds and back again every evening with their husbands.
I don’t walk it often enough, but if I check my blog posts, I walked here about thesame time last year, and I was equally lyrical then. Must be the time of the year.