Journey in Lebanon, 2

Day 2:

We were up early to meet our guide Houssam in Ain Zhalta forest  reserve. After a pleasant walk up the mountain we enjoyed  panoramic view of the Bekaa valley.

The Forest

The Bekaa valley

We had lunch with a local family. Our host cooked a typical homely meal consisting of pea and carrot stew with vermicelli rice, lentil moudardara, yogurt and cucumber salad, goats' cheese in oil, pickled aubergines and more.

For dessert a simple fig jam with markouk a thin bread baked on a hot convex griddle.

Pea and carrot stew 

Moudardara (lentil rice)

Baby Aubergines filled with walnuts, garlic and chilli and preserved in olive oil

On our way back we stopped in Beit Eddine an early 19th century palace built by the Emir Bechir II, and later took a stroll in  the picturesque village of Deir El Kamar.

Back in Beirut we spent the evening in  Al Falamanki Cafe. After a gin and tonic to ease the day's tiredness we ordered some specialities: Beetroot dip with spicy potatoes,  kefta baked in tahini sauce.

Famalmanki is the hub of a shisha-smoking, tawle-playing young crowd. You cannot book a table and often you have to queue to get in.

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