Jeita Grotto and Jounieh
The day I arrived I just wanted to jump into seeing the life outside the capital. To my surprise, public transport isn’t too bad but you do need to get to the edge of the city at Dowra and then taking a mini-coach/bus which charges 2000 Liras (roughly £1) and you can get off at the main Highway.
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I will be honest, I wasn’t too excited about Jeita Grotto but I found out, it is a must-do so I headed there. Since it was my first day, I decided to go with uber which was a good decision.
I arrived, bought the tickets and then headed to the upper grotto. My excitement dimmed even further because the entrance looks like a sterilised, whitewashed tunnel with small lockers to put your phones in (Strictly no photography allowed inside).
Jeita Grotto is a series of limestone caves which stretch some 9 km long but that’s nothing exciting until you actually arrive at the actual entrance of the caves. Dear Lord! It is an intense sensory experience. The limestone structures developed over millions of years with drops and flow of water carving the shapes. The walk to the end of visitor area is just insanely beautiful but I realised that’s not it because there’s a lower grotto as well which is much lower and you can see beautiful blue water peeping through the rocks in the depths.
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In the lower grotto, we took a boat to go around (I sneaked my phone in, I felt bad about it later though but it was irresistible). Crystal clear water here with the reflection of limestone structures creates a different feeling altogether. Coming out I patted myself for not being lazy and actually visiting this place. The mountains around this place are lush and beautiful and the cable car ride to and from the upper grotto has its own charm.
I ate some light lunch and headed to Jounieh to get some much-needed beach, sun and drinks and stretch my legs. The last few days at work were crazy. Jounieh has some amazing beaches and I randomly went to one and relaxed the whole day there. The views were amazing and the water still warm.
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I watched the sunset in Jounieh and then headed to Manuella restaurant which was recommended by a local. I couldn’t have imaged a better dinner in Lebanon. The food was insanely delicious and the fruit platter at the end truly brought me to vacation mode.
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