A maybe less ordinary travel destination is Byblos, Lebanon. It’s really small so it only makes sense to go if you’re already in Beirut (my personal impressions on that soon to follow).
Byblos is still disputing the title for the world’s oldest continuously inhabited city, dating all the way back to 8800 BC. Thought to have been built by Cronus as the first Phoenician city, it holds many names – Gebal in Phoenician, Geval in Hebrew, Jubayl or Jbeil in Arabic and Byblos in Greek.
As you have probably guessed, during these thousands of years a lot of civilizations contributed to the different layers of the city, which makes it so interesting and fascinating today. And if you ever wondered about the origins of the alphabet, well, Byblos is your answer. Inspired by the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the Phoenicians started to develop a letter writing system that travelled to Greece around 800 BC and the rest is literally history.
- it’s an hour (or even less) drive north of Beirut, so you can book a car at your hotel to take you there and back.
- visit the local souk, they have a lot of interesting and traditional items and make sure to bargain.
- have lunch at Pepe, situated in the small harbour.
- you can pay anywhere with US dollars.
- don’t forget your camera.
Photos: my iPhone.0