November 29, 2014

More Things Up North

Enfeh village; a collection of home-built structures
Okay, last (long drawn out) post on some things to see up north: We’re still in Enfeh, a small (Greek orthodox) fishing village on the coast. It’s funny how villages in Lebanon are typified according to their religion, as if there’d be a difference. But we do that in Holland too, if it involves a religious community with a rather extreme character. Staphorst, for instance, a village in the north east, is always associated with the ‘Black Stocking Church’, a Calvinistic domination of a rather severe kind. I remember that you were not supposed to lawn on Sunday, but do not know if that is still this way.

Enfeh is a jumbled collection of houses all build on the shore, in a style that reminds me of Catal Huyuk, or modern day touristic Greece. To get to the peninsula, which is the oldest (and no longer inhabited) part of the village, you really need to clamber over home-made wooden bridges, through a graveyard, by some rather disheveled summer chalets, through a volleyball field, past some fishing huts and through a deep rock-cut trench, before you end up on the peninsula.
That rock-cut trench is an odd feature. Some say it was cut out during Crusader times, something like a moat, which would protect the inhabitants of the peninsula from attackers. If that is the case, then it is a bit of a fail, as the water level isn’t high enough; you can just walk across. At one point there is a standing pillar, which could be interpreted as a support for a draw bridge, but either the trench wasn’t finished, or the sea level dropped, or the floor lifted itself, or it just isn’t meant as a safety barrier. I go for the last explanation. The differences between high and low tide in the Mediterranean are neglectable.
The rock-cut trench, separating the peninsula from the main land
Then there’s the story that this was a Phoenician dry-dock, where ships were built in very close proximity of the sea. Why they would cut through the entire rock from one end to the other, is a bit of an overachiever’s feat. So I nix that theory as well. It’s got to have some purpose though to put so much manpower in a feature for a small town, that at one point in time, Enfeh must have been a thriving village.
What’s nice about the town is that it looks pretty much the same as it must have some 1,000 years ago, if not more. Very little town planning, they just built on top of the ruins of previous dwellings, like in the old days. For some reason I always end up in this town in winter time, when it is grim weather with ominous skies. I keep telling myself to spend a summer here, go fishing, start diving again, and make art projects with shells and drift wood. I seem to lose myself in working, rather than living, these days. But one day, I am going to do it.


Anonymous said...

heb je een nieuw fototoestel?

Sietske said...

Nee, scherp ze iets zwaarder aan in Picasa.

Tanya Dernaika said...

I can't believe this is in Lebanon. It looks like a Greek fishing port.

Fadi said...

I loved this! My hometown is just a few minutes away (Amioun) and yet I have yet to visit that part of Anfeh. Love your blog!