Friends of us married in this beautiful place: Istirahat Saida (here). Istirahat means a place where you can relax and have a break. Unfortunately I missed their marriage but it must have been wonderful, with the amazing view at the historic castle of Saida and the Mediterranean sea… Some people think Saida is too far away for a weekend brunch, but it isn’t! With the panoramic view from almost every angle, the super delicious Baba sweets and the tempting new shopping mall (yes, with a Zara shop), it’s absolutely worth the ride! Which reminds me: My friend the former bride, Hiba, and I wanted to go there soon, for breakfast and shopping and maybe for a short visit to the Debbané Palace (stay tuned!).
Poor Lady Stanhope. She was a famous adventurer and traveler and was treated like royalty (here). And now her last residence in Joun, not far from Saida, is totally abandoned and home to snakes. We couldn’t approach the two remaining walls of the monastery she lived in. The ladies who were having a picnic with their kids warned us. But this little hero with the t-shirt on his head told us not to listen to them. “Just take an olive branch and stick it into the ground while walking”. I smiled at him, totally amazed, and preferred to watch him go his way. He must have Lady Stanhope’s adventurous spirit in his veins… [more photos from this amazing hill here]
Can you guess what material these cute little shoes are made of? Of course you do because you’ve read the title above, right? Yes, it’s soap! Sooo pretty, non? My friend and I visited the incredibly charming Soap Museum in the old souks of Saida (here), and she was soo impressed… We definitely agreed that THIS is the perfect Lebanon. Traditional and modern, friendly and welcoming, clean and green, colourful and calm… After the tour, we had a break at the museum’s “Matbakh” cafeteria where we spent lots of euros on organic olive oil, home-made sweets and amazing books (including this one about Lebanese “Mouné”/food provisions).