October 20, 2011

Last Beach Day?

Bay of Jounieh

I went to the beach last Saturday. It may be one of the last times we can go to the beach. As far as the foreigners is concerned, that is. The Lebanese stopped going way back in September, they like to stick to the seasons. You go to the beach in summer. Summer has ended. And so you do not go to the beach anymore.
Typical Teenager Stuff

But the sun-starved Dutch would - weather permitting - still go in December. However, the rains have come in, and although it doesn’t really rain, there is a drop in temperature. Most beaches have closed their doors as well, so it becomes quite difficult to find an open spot. The whole ‘beach’ thing needs an explanation, I fear. In Holland, a beach is a sandy shore. A beach in Lebanon is ‘a spot on the sea shore’. That doesn’t mean the place has sand. It might just be a concrete slab with a pool with lounge chairs around it.

The 'beach' with some Dutchies

Last Saturday, we tried a new beach, because our ‘regular spots’ were either too far, or already boarded up for the season. We ended up on this ‘beach’ in Jounieh, one I had never tried before (yes, in my 20-something years in Lebanon, it is still possible). It has a tremendous view over the Bay of Jounieh, a bay, - I am told – which had few urban structures prior to 1982. 1982 is, of course, a pretty significant year in Lebanese history. It was the year the Israelis invaded, which ‘intensified’ - if I may use that word - the already fraught & fragile relations between the muslims and the christians. This resulted in a sudden exodus (how appropriate, given the circumstances) of christians from other parts of Lebanon into this area. Hence the high-rise. It’s a pity, because the bay is beautiful. It has a Monaco-like feel to it.
You see those 'threathening' clouds over the mountains? That's where they stayed the entire day.

And the beach was very pleasant. There weren’t many of us. A few Dutch, someone I suspect of being French or Swiss, and two Britons. Or maybe Russians. Whatever, two very white people. But no Lebanese.

It’s not certain there will be many more Saturdays we can spend at the beach, and so each Saturday could be my last Saturday of the summer. They sometimes say you should live each day as if it were your last. I think that may be a little on the intense side. But if I kept it just for Saturdays, that will work.
This one fits in the category 'what teenagers brothers subject their baby sisters to'.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful beach day! Let there be many more!!! I looove to read your blog!

Mich said...

Oh no... I never stopped going to the beach when I lived in Beirut. We went all year round. And if it was a bit fresh, although rarely, I'd just sit and enjoy the view of the sea :-)

Florida Beach Cottages said...

Going to the beach is just never a bad idea if you know what you are dealing with. Thanks for sharing.