Monday, March 15, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Another amazing day in Lebanon. This entry will be pretty short because the photos will speak for themselves.

Quadisha Valley

I took a trip through the Quadisha Valley, home to numerous waterfalls, villages, and monasteries. We stopped in Bcharre, a small village that is the birthplace of Khalil Gibran, a Lebanese poet and artist.

We stopped at the Cedars, a ski resort and home to a forest of the Lebanese national symbol.

We couldn’t go in because it was closed for the winter—the snow hides the baby cedar trees and tourists would trample them.

The fog rolling in en route to the monastery.

After a mezze lunch, we visited Dier Mar Antonios Qozhaya, an 11th century monastery that established the first-known printing press in the Middle East.

The monastery is built near a cave where miracles are said to happen. When we were there, a priest was praying over a sick girl who had been escorted to the monastery by her family.

Saint Anthony is the patron saint of those with mental illnesses and fertility issues. Pots are piled on one wall of the cave. When women who are having difficulty conceiving come to pray for a baby, they leave a pot open side up in the cave. After they conceive, they come back with their baby and flip their pot upside down.

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