Brennan Stark’s Guide to Leba-NAN

Dec 13 • By • 1072 Views • No Comments on Brennan Stark’s Guide to Leba-NAN FOODIES-TRAVELOGUES, Issue 23 // Dec 2013, Travelogues

“It’s a novel, haha.

Here is some shit I thought of for Lebanon.  I know you only have a week so I tried to only focus on the best stuff and what I thought your hungover buddies could handle.  – Brennan Stark”

Byblos is great considering it is one of the oldest towns in the world ever.  It still has all the old architecture and feel of a small village, but at night there is a decent line of pubs that open up, both on the street and on low rooftops.  I don’t know the name of the street but if you drive into downtown (or whatever could be considered downtown in Byblos) you will see it.  There are a lot of other decent bars nearby and closer to the ocean, so be sure to wander over there too.  You’ll find it, they are around.  One bar is called rockstock and has cheap beers and lots of metal music.  But I am wary of that place cause they seem to really like metallica and metallica can choke on my fuckin dick just like that tuk tuk driver.

I mean, the bar streets are pretty easy to navigate.  There are basically two that are side by side.  I’m telling you about rock stock because beers there are 5,000 whereas everyone else is gonna be charging closer to 8 or so in that area.  It’s down a side street that is closer to the ocean, just ask around it’s easy to find.

A good restaurant is Pedro’s, not too cheap but decent and right next to the ocean and an old castle and it has a sort of hippie-pirate feel with old fishing nets and all that sort of shit and affordable Almaza.

Hotels are super expensive and fancy there, though, except for one, called Camping Amchit.

http://www.campinglescolombes.com/#

Forty dollars a night for a decent “chalet” room for two people.  There are also “tengalows” for like 12 dollars less but they are tiny and pretty uncomfortable.  For sixty dollars the room is like twice as big and has a balcony or something.

Amazing ocean views right there seeing as the whole thing is located next to a big cliff.  Only downside is you will have to take a taxi into town, but its only like a four minute ride and should cost less than 5,000 lira each time.  Or you could walk like my broke ass but you probably won’t because you make Norwegian wages and have free healthcare and fuck you

But book it soon, as it will be crowded starting around the new year and definitely if it’s a weekend.

That’s the only place I know of in Byblos that is affordable, the rest are around 2 or 3 hundred a night.  Apparently Pamela Anderson owns a villa nearby.  Maybe you could drunkenly break into her house and motorboat dem huge plastic titties

Burj Hammoud is the big Armenian neighborhood located near Doura, that big intersection roundabout thing where all the buses go to in Beirut.  Go to Mano, that sojouk place like I said.  It will make for a nice hangover outing, as you can go straight back home after you get there and its not a difficult thing to manage.  There are lots of places that serve it there but the one I showed you is the most famous and I don’t know if that is because it is better but trust me they are great and only 4,000 but a bit small so get two or seven.

Also Bourj Hammoud is the most ghetto place you can go where there is still actual shit to do and see.  Just walk around and get lost, it’s a cool place.  There is a brand new Ethiopian restaurant (pretty sure the only one in Lebanon) down one alleyway I went to a couple of times and stuffed my fat face for about 10 dollars including beers. The alleyway is about 60 meters from the big roundabout in Doura.  It looks super sketchy but the food is amazing and spicy and you can chew qat there if you want although they are sometimes out of it.

Falafel Arax is also right on the roundabout in Doura (Doura, by the way, is basically right next to Bourj Hammoud).  This falafel chain is about as good as it gets, aside from Falafel sayoun near the blue mosque.  I have heard that BarBar in Hamra has the best falafels, but I’ve never tried anything there except their super delicious but kinda small shawarmas.

Right next to your beloved Comesee Comsaaj in Gemmayzeh is a new burger place called Rod’s.  Absolutely fucking delicious, is you go there BE SURE TO ASK FOR A SIDE OF THE HOMEMADE SALSA and dip everything in it.  He is planning a honeymoon in Thailand with his fiancé, so, you know, do your thing.

If you wanted to check out Jounieh for a night of partying you could as long as you are committed to either paying a cab all the way back to Beirut (about 20 km so really not all too bad, maybe 15 dollars or so).  Clubs there are chill but no cheaper than Beirut, maybe a bit nicer and more relaxed.  The town is really cool too and slower than Beirut but definitely not a major touristy place.

If you did want a hotel there you could probably find one for around 60-80.  There’s a place nearby called Maameltein there where I lived for a month which is great if you want to get a Russian hooker.  I moved into the room and there was a condom stuck to the wall but when I mentioned it to the owner he smiled and said “this is Lebanon”.  Yum.

There is an awesome Irish style bar in kaslik (basically Jounieh) called Piper’s Pub.  I don’t know how to explain how to get there though.  But it’s one of those places where the owner just blasts metal and doesn’t give a fuck and drinks a lot and none of that neon techno shit you see at all those awful places in Hamra.  I love it there.

The only real beach area is Edde Sands right next to Byblos but apparently it is too cold right now to fuck around with that.  I hear they just had a snowstorm called Alexa, which is the sexiest name for a storm I have ever heard.

Also near Jounieh is Jeita Grotto, that cave place.  I have never been but heard it’s alright.  About ten dollars to get in, no pictures, lots of stalagmites, that kind of shit.

BUT TWO THINGS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO IF YOU GET THE CHANCE!!!!!  Are these:

The cave.  The cave.  The cave.  In Arabic the name is Mar Antonios, in the northern mountain region, the village where the cave is is called Aarbet Kozhaya.  It is just after Tourza, another town.  So this cave was used in the past by a local monastery to cure people with mental issues.  Because, you know, the best way to cure people with paranoia is to lock them in shackles in a cave for weeks till they stop screaming.  Next to the Cave the monastery sells huge bottles of homemade sweet wine and crap like that.

My favorite part of the cave was actually the drive there, as it was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen, more than Tuscany even.  Then again, I was there in a time where it was probably a lot sunnier.  You will probably have to rent a car and I know you are pressed for time, but if you wanted to make a half day trip out of it I’d say go for it.  But make sure the roads are clear first, it tends to snow there.  Do not plunge off the cliff while driving along an icy cliff edge, I still need you to show me Bar 23.

Much easier to do is the Teleferique (cable cars, or for Uhmeereekans we say sky buckets).  It is in Maameltein, close to Jounieh.  You can take a bus and just hop off when you see those things but don’t risk crossing the highway because niggas be killed that way.

They take you all the way to the top of this mountain near this big cliff side church with lots of things to do up there and you can drink at some of the restaurants at night and get an amazing view of Jounieh all the way to Beirut and beyond there.  It was one of my favorite things I did in Lebanon.

Well that’s all I can think of for now.  Do try a zaatar with labneh sandwich with all the vegetables inside.  I know it sounds all vegetarian and healthy but it is seriously delicious if you get it at the right place.  Not comsee comsaaj, theirs are terrible.  Like at a decent café place.

Oh and Le Chef is remodeled but honestly it looks the fuckin same, don’t mention this to the owner I think he paid a lot for it.

Book the Camping place now if there is still room haha- Good luck and stay safe

And remember shit gets packed way early on NYE on Gemmayzeh and in Hamra so get thirsty early.  I’m sure that’s not a problem for your friends.

Stay black!

-brennan

P.s. I know you don’t like Hamra but if you leave the alleyway area with all those shit bars you can find a bar called Captain’s Cabin with 5,000 for the BIG almazas and a decent outside patio too with a pool table inside.  Pretty much the best place in Hamra.

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