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ccmtcanada

NF - A trip to Beirut, Lebanon...

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The last few months have been incredibly busy for me at work, and I haven't had a lot of time to post reports or browse the board as much as I'd have liked to! All that work was in preparation for a week long business trip to Beirut, Lebanon to test out some software that we are purchasing. The first thing I did was look to see about fishing opportunities, and there was something that looked promising...a tuna fishing charter based out of Beirut on the Mediterranean Sea! Unfortunately, I arrived there Sunday afternoon...worked Monday thru Friday and then left at 2am Saturday....just a few hours after leaving work for the day. I may be sent back there in September, so hopefully I can get out then!

 

Anyhow, I left Toronto on July 18th...on an Air France 747. Business class just rules...no lineups, access to those first class lounges, and amazing service once on board.

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It has been a while since I have flown, so I was impressed to see that one of the channels on the TV was dedicated to the flight status, showing altitude, speed etc...as well as GPS mapping showing exactly where you were.

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Somewhere over the Atlantic, I got to see a sunset...as it set on top of the clouds...

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I landed in Paris, France and had a few hour layover before heading to Beirut. En route, we passed right over the Swiss Alps...

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Finally, about 16 hours after I left Toronto, Beirut was in the distance...here's an approach shot.

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This was to be my home for a week...a great hotel!

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The very first night, I looked out and saw this cool sunset...

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There are lots of reminders of the past as you travel through this city. Much of it has been rebuilt, but there are still lots of sights like this...

this first one is right beside the hotel I stayed at. Also, I was taken aback when the first morning I awoke there, I looked out to see armed military patrolling the front of the hotel area. They were there the entire time.

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Bullet holes riddling the sides of buildings are a common sight...

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It was mostly a working week...at the office from 8am til 6 or 7pm every night. The first few nights I was completely exhausted as they are 7 hours ahead...getting back to the hotel at 8 felt like 3am to me! I did manage to visit the new downtown area. It's like traveling to a completely different country, when in fact it's only about 10km away from the hotel. It's been called the Paris of the Middle East, and I'd have to agree!! The sobering thing about this area is that every single street leading into this area has heavily armed military guarding the entrance.

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Friday after work, we went to an absolutely incredible place called the Jeita Grotto. It's a massive underground cave with some incredible sights within. It took thousands and thousands of years for these stellagtites to form...truly breathtaking! You are not allowed to take pictures inside, but I grabbed one from the web to post here. You can visit their site at www.jeitagrotto.com. This site has been nominated to be one of the new natural wonders of the world.

16aJeitaGrotto.jpg

 

The people there are very friendly. I had no idea, but the second language there is French...so if you know a few words, they are eager to talk with you. Most also know at least a little English. There are many western influences in Beirut...here's a pic of the soft drinks available in the hotel mini bar...7up, pepsi, and a locally brewed beer.

16familiarlogos.jpg

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Very cool Cilff, sounds like a great eye opening experience!!

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Nice photos, not the typical stuff that you would normally see on CNN.

 

I'm actually a sales guy in the IT world, and I just recently took some customers out for a musky charter.

Let me know if you want to mix some business with fishing.

 

Cheers!

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Cliff, looks like a great work related trip. Too bad about the missed Tuna outing, maybe next time.

 

Glad you are back safe and sound. That part of the world can be a little dicey at times.....

 

Dirk

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thanks for bringing us along CC..........that is not how I pictured Beirut. Well,......some of it is....Wow. I gotta get away from this monitor more often lol. Its too bad ya gotta get on one of those big flyin things to witness the world. I dont do them very often lol.

 

Ive been on a plane twice ever, and the last time was into chicago with a cross wind and the plane wsa dog trackin when it landed........and it felt like we lost the wheels lol. I literally rented a car after the weekend and drove home ;)

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Very cool Cliff!

I'm quite happy to see it through your eyes though! That is close enough for me.

 

Throughout all those great shots, the one that attracted my attention most was wondering who the lucky stiff is that gets to service the A/C condensing units hanging on the side of the bullet ridden wall???!!! LOL

 

Thanks for sharing the trip with us! Good to have you back!

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I was wondering where you had gotten off to?... Thought I might have overly insulted you again. ;)

 

Very cool pics and report Cliff!!! :thumbsup_anim: ... thanks for taking the time to share!!! :clapping:

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Looks like fun ... why did I think you were working for Cdn Tire ?

 

And if you are .. what was it that took you to Beirut ?

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Thanks everyone for your comments!

 

Some asked what it was I'd be doing over there...

 

We are working with a French company to replace our advertising, marketing and vendor systems. Their developers are stationed in Beirut...which is why I went there. I was testing pre-first release software that has been tailored to us. I may have to go back in September...and if I do, I'll be booking that Tuna charter!!!

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That was quite a trip Cliff. Glad to see you back safe and sound.

Hope you get a chance to go out on that fishing experience in September.

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After seeing all thoes bullet holes in the buildings it got me thinking about opening a window installation company there :w00t:

Edited by Shore_Lunch

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Very interesting read and pics .

 

Just have your company book the flight with me sitting in business class in September.

I will help you with the french.Et on va Pecher pour des gros thon ensemble :Gonefishing:

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Very interesting post Cliff. Thanks for the pictures, they were pretty cool!

 

Joey

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Thanks everyone for your comments!

 

Some asked what it was I'd be doing over there...

 

We are working with a French company to replace our advertising, marketing and vendor systems. Their developers are stationed in Beirut...which is why I went there. I was testing pre-first release software that has been tailored to us. I may have to go back in September...and if I do, I'll be booking that Tuna charter!!!

 

Well there you go ... I never realized you were a fellow IT guy (I'll have to sic my sales guys on ya) ... sounds very interesting ... hope they will need ya back for that UAT so you can get out on the charter :)

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As always a wonderful post and spectacular photos! Glad to hear you are back safe and sound and looking forward to seeing you guys soon.

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