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Lebanon Post Cards!

Lebanon - the biblical land of the "Song of Songs" and the homeland of the ancient Phoenicians - is one of the smallest and most fascinating countries in the world. Into its small area is packed a wealth of natural beauty and enormous human, historical and archaeological interest.

Measuring only 130 miles (210 km) in length and 46 miles (75 km) in width, it has a population of three million and is situated along the east coast of the Mediterranean between Syria and Israel. Its tiny coastline is dotted with the ancient ports of Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, Tripoli and Beirut.

One third of the total land mass is made up of mountains, which ascend suddenly in places to a height of 8000 feet (2450 meters) and are divided from north to south by the lush Bekaa Valley. On the steep mountain slopes, terraced villages perch precariously amid countless mountain springs and waterfalls.

The sheer sudden height of the mountains becomes obvious when you realize that it is possible, at certain times of the year, to swim in the warm Mediterranean waters at the foot of the mountains and one hour later, after motoring to the top, ski down the snowy slopes.

The Lebanese landscape varies from barren, rocky terrain to fertile valleys and plains. Much of the countryside is covered in cypress, willow, poplar, oak and pine trees, and in places the remains of famous cedar forests are still evident. There are many olive groves and banana plantations, and countless thriving orchards which produce an abundance of citrus fruits, apricots, peaches, figs and pomegranates.

From December through to the northern spring, wildflowers of every color begin to bloom. Among these are narcissus, iris, crocus, anemone, hibiscus, tulips and cyclamen. In the mountains flowers seem to grow everywhere, even in the stone walls of ancient ruins.

This picturesque country has been called the "Land of the Poets". For thousands of years it has inspired men to sing its praises, among them the great Lebanese poet and philosopher, Khalil Gibran.

Today Lebanon is a country of contrasts and diversities.

Beirut, the capital, is a sophisticated city bursting with luxury products, first class hotels, elegant women and fast cars. It has also regrettably, been the scene of complex political conflicts.

These trappings of the modern world stand alongside old souks (market places) and ancient ruins.

In the villages people cling to old traditions. They live in simple, stone dwellings and retain a spontaneous outlook on life. >>Next

 

Quality fresh nuts from Lebanon, roasted nuts

 
 
 

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