Everything you’ve heard about India is true and at the same time every traveller has a very different and unique experience in this country. Of course this is a huge country, there are many different Indias. You can easily get overwhelmed by the intensity of life, the people, the honking and the streets. It is not a country that sets you indifferent. Some say either you love it or you hate it. For me it was neither of the two, I found it difficult to deal with the high levels of contamination, I am not judging as I understand is a direct consequence of overpopulation and explosive development. Nevertheless is heartbreaking to see the damage on many beautiful landscapes and nature.
I had the chance to travel to Lebanon in June of 2019. It had been a wanna go destination for me for quite a long time now. I’ve been travelling to several Arab countries in the last years, and Lebanon has always captivated my attention and curiosity. I found a complex, contrasty and culturally rich country. As a Mediterranean citizen (if I may say) I felt right at home, the people on the streets physically looked somehow familiar. I experienced kindness and hospitality as it is always the case whenever I travel Arab countries. It probably helps that I can say a few words in Arabic, I try to be respectful and behave as a guest as a rule of thumb.
Lebanon is a small country, but incredibly diverse in terms of landscapes which makes it most interesting to explore even if you don’t have too much time. Beyrouth is of course a highlight but if you have the occasion roam about other parts of it’s geography. You’ll be astonished by what you’ll discover.
At the time of my travel the country was perfectly safe to travel, even though you have to assume that you are in a part of the world where things can change quickly generally to the worse. Some areas in the south, close to the Israel border are quite sensitive, and it may be difficult to get there, I would say even pointless unless you are on assignment. Even your mere presence there as a traveller could be seen as suspicious. Be sensible.
The country can be quite expensive in terms of accommodation and food specially when you’re in the touristy locations, but moving around with local transportation is affordable.
This is an edited post. I had originally published it on august the 3rd. Little would I know that on the next day Beyrouth would suffer (again) the most terrible devastation following the huge explosions in the port. I was shocked and saddened. If you have been there, or know the history, this city and his people have already suffered so many hardships already! I really wish and hope this will be a turning point for the better in the forthcoming future.
Toutes mes condoléances à mes amis Libanais !