From Aqaba I flew to Beirut via Amman, taxi from the Aqaba city to the airport is JD15, there is a JD15 departure tax when you leave by air and it should be included in the price of your ticket. The flight from Amman to Beirut takes a roundabout route in order to avoid Israel air space and the areas of conflict in Syria.
You get a visa on arrival at Beirut airport and its free, the immigration officer checked every page of my passport and asked me if I had been to Israel, you may be denied entry if you have an Israeli stamp in your passport. Both US dollars and Lebanese pounds are used in Lebanon, ATM’s give you a choice when withdrawing cash. The Lebanese pound is fixed to the US dollar at 15,000:1. The taxi fare from the airport to the city is USD$20 and takes about 20 minutes, taxis do not have meters. On the return journey to the airport at 0400 I booked a taxi through Charlie Taxi’s, you can do this online at charlietaxi.com for local journeys as well, cost was USD$17 including a tip, excellent service.
Beirut was destroyed during the civil war which lasted from 1975 to 1990 and parts have been rebuilt. Women appear to have complete freedom here, it feels more like Europe than the Middle East and just as expensive. Lots of machine guns and barbed wire in the downtown area. Certain areas of Beirut and Lebanon are not tourist friendly, ask the locals before you set out to explore the city.
Beirut Downtown and the Souk
National Museum and Sassine Square, the museum is well done and has collections dating back to the Pharaohs.
Jeita Caves, Byblos and Harissa Tour, I hired a car and driver for the day cost USD$100. The caves are huge and quite spectacular, no photos, Byblos is an ancient site with a Crusader castle, Harissa is on top of the mountain and has a big church and a statue of Mary.
Big Mosque, Rafic Hariri Memorial and Pigeons rock
Reblogged this on Smriti "Simmi" D. Isaac and commented:
Fantastic account and photographs from my dear friend, CD, in the beautiful Middle East.
How is everything going?
Paddy is concerned with lack of updates?