After experiencing an incredible night in Tripoli, sleeping in and swimming for a half-hour (the latter two I rarely do in California) my hostess Sadika says, “Today we will see the Phonecian Wall.”
Awesome! The Phonecian Wall has been on my bucket list before I had a bucket list. In grade school I remember studying the Phonecians along with the Egyptians, but now to see a piece of the Phonecian Wall that has survived five thousand years of tidal waves, floods, earthquakes and wars- I was beyond stoked.
On the way to Batroun, we stopped for manouche in Anfeh for manouche- Lebanon’s take on pizza. My hostesss is fasting for Ramadan. I’m not Muslim, so I’m eating and drinking during the daylight hours. I love, love, love the Lebanese cheeses here although I have yet to see a single cow, sheep or goat.
Batroun is a cute cobblestoned town, that could use better signage to direct tourists to the major sights. After parking we followed the sign to the Phonecian Wall, and ended up at a dead end.
Sadika negotiated us back up a hill, through the neighborhood, then down someone’s driveway to a rocky outcrop where the wall suddenly appeared.
Sadika, who wore walking shoes, and knowing I’m still recovering from a bad car accident six weeks ago looked at my Teva sandals and said, “Do you want climb the wall? You don’t have to.”
It was the first time I felt challenged in Lebanon. Granted my footwear and fitness were not ideal, and I have an unfortunate perfect seven for seven record of spraining ankles on trips to the Middle East, I was going to climb that wall- bad footwear and poor proprioception and clumsiness issues be darned.
I followed her to lowest point and slowly negotiated the ten foot climb- grip by grip, slow step by step.
“This you can only find here. Welcome to Lebanon!” I screamed.
The view was incredible. I was beyond ecstatic. We took a couple of photos as we noticed a couple of presumably local guys in bare feet and sandals not much sturdier than mine.
The Phonecian Wall has survived five thousand years of tidal waves, floods earthquakes and wars and now me. Hopefully I can recall this experience when I face other challenges.
We slowly made our way back to Batroun. After visiting a cute Maronite church we headed back to the car for our next destination.
Thank you Sadika for encouraging and challenging me up that wall. It is an experience I will not soon forget.
Live. Love. Lebanon.