via Flickr http://flic.kr/p/nmhSDD
A dream of flight,
I’ve taken that dream,
I’ve beaten the challenge!
As you well know Christmas is getting closer, so decorations are being put up all around Lebanon, in preparation for the festivities. So as usual, on my drive up from Beirut to the Cedars, I once again passed by the village of Hasroun.
It is a small village with small roads and houses glued to each other to help the town people survive the cold days of winter. It is built on the side of the mountain, facing North, which in other words means it only gets a couple of hours of sun a day at an altitude of nearly 1600m (5200ft). Its name comes from the Hasrun flower that used to predominant in the area, giving it its nickname the Rose of the Mountain.
Having the houses so closely interlinked, the villagers came up with one of the most beautiful (in my opinion) Christmas lighting that stay on during all winter, making the village a beautiful show at night.
The decorations are simple, using tube lights, many meters of them, to show and enhance the old architecture of the area, delimiting the roads and houses, as well as all home and shop entrances.
So without extra babbling from my part, here are a few pictures I took last weekend, where I noticed that not only did they put up the same decorations, but they also added colors to this year’s festivities.
As you can see the whole area is lit in the most simple type of decoration, yet gives the village a beautiful feel when entering it. Not only do they add these light snakes on door entrances, but balconies, fences, and windows were added to the festive season, depicting a different outlook on the whole area.
If you’re ever around Lebanon around the festive season, I say Hasroun is a must see at night, walk or drive through, to get the ultimate experience, as well of course as Hadath el Jebbe, as depicited in my previous post, On the road to Arez.
Cheers from between the arms of Alexa storm.
Qnat is a small village on the road between Beirut and Cedars, you pass by it after crossing Aabdine and before reaching Hadath el Jebbe. Unfortunately, or fortunately I am not sure, the road never crosses through the village itself, and I got used to watching it from above, while driving up the mountains or down.
Qnat became a center-point for me and my family; you know how when you’re driving from one area to another, you keep calling your parents to tell them you reached this area, and now crossing to another; Qnat became one of these on-the-road-points of recognition.
Until recently I never even thought of entering the village in itself, fearing that seeing the view from down there might be different from the beauty I usually see, and decided to keep it that way.
Nearly a year ago signs were added to each village, giving travelers a distance perspective from the point where they are to the point they want to reach (which is a new concept for these villages; and still we Lebanese managed to mix up some of these road signs); on Qnat’s sign a new phrase was added: “Qnat, fille des dieux” (daughter of the Gods); so I decided to research it but found nothing. Google and Wikipedia let me down on this one, there was no mention whatsoever of the name Qnat with any ancient gods.
I guess it’s just a way for the villagers to define their village; and I have to say watching it is quite beautiful; it feels like it just came out of a history book. Needless to say most villages in Lebanon have this effect on us, when looking at it from above, but once we seep through it we see the filth, the desperation, the everyday troubles, and the real face of the area.
I’m still thinking of roaming through it one of these days, but I haven’t got the guts to yet. Any advice on what to do?