Snow is not exactly my best friend. For someone who is born right in the middle of winter, I cannot stand the cold and the charm of everything covered in white wears off really, really fast. Plus, the terrible road conditions always terrify me so I always try to put off any trip to the mountains in the winter.
This made things harder when we were searching for a place to spend my birthday weekend- and our first weekend getaway. Through a somehow tedious process, one that I can say was even longer than that of our honeymoon, we eliminated the classic ski locations like Faraya, Mzar, the Cedars, and Laklouk. That pretty much left us wondering if we would ever find a place to accomodate us for two nights.
That is, until Ahmad found Les Terrasses de Abdelli, tucked in the hills overlooking Batroun.
To call it a hotel would be unfair to the location. You could say that it is more like individual houses, each having its own massive room and bathroom, built in the traditional Lebanese stone-style, with a view that makes you forget that you’re in this country. The houses are connected through green walkways and there is a massive terrace where you could take in the scenery. It was also where we were served breakfast.
I was so excited on our first morning there that I jumped out of bed very early to open the curtains and allow myself to be greeted by all the greenery. Although it was freezing outside, you would think it was the middle of spring. For a Beirut girl, this is a scene I don’t get to experience so often and I wished I didn’t have to leave.
Apart from how breathtaking the place is, I fell in love with its authenticity. Too often you see buildings that represent our culture and heritage being ripped down only to be replaced by fancy high-rises that are all too empty inside. This place is the exact opposite. I think I was especially smitten by the high ceilings that reminded me of my grandparents’ house- a place I will always cherish.
The journey there was quite a long one, full of long and winding roads. It didn’t help the cause that we drove there just as the sun began to set, so by the time we got to the stretch that leads you to the village and to the accommodation, we were driving in darkness. We only knew what we had put ourselves through when we went out the next morning to explore the city of Batroun.
If anything, it gave me the header that is newly featured on the blog. I don’t think anything else represents the concept of Beyond Beirut, as the image taken.
But I also took away some much needed calm and serenity. The year had kicked off on the wrong foot, with too many complications at work and me struggling with my negative thoughts. This was that rare chance to go away, to a place where my pager could not beep, and my phone had spotty reception. It was that chance to be with Ahmad without any interference from the outside world, much like Berlin was.
It’s where you go to forget, think, read, or just stare into the distance. And for that, I highly recommend it- just as long as you’re willing to make the journey.