Weekly Photo Challenge – Pedestrian


Pedestrian.

The ruins of ancient Byblos look quite pedestrian today. The history of Byblos is far from pedestrian however and is worth a read and some research if you have the time.

The below shot was taken during MB’s recent trip to Lebanon when he attended a wedding next to the ancient ruins. The shot even features three pedestrians!

IMG_0930

 

Foto Friday – Views from the castle


MB has some external shots of the Crusader Castle at Byblos, Lebanon, somewhere in his photo library, from a previous visit of a few years back, but he is too lazy to search for them. So, for today’s Foto Friday post, MB gives HX followers some shots that he took last week, from atop the castle, of the surrounding countryside, without any shots of the actual castle itself.

Some of the views are quite typical of the Lebanese coastline, countryside, and townscapes. Read More

The Wedding of David & Myriam (5)


The Wedding Ceremony.

As MB has already mentioned, the wedding ceremony of D&M took place in the Christian Maronite Church of St Jean Marc in Byblos, which is part of the modern day Lebanese town of Jbail. MB’s previous Lebanese wedding experience in December 2016 witnessed a Christian Orthodox ceremony in which the bride and groom do not utter a single word throughout. There was no “I do”. But, for the information of those who may not know, the Maronite Church is a branch of the Roman Catholic church, so the ceremony on Sunday last was similar in most respects to a Catholic Church wedding in Ireland – but no pictures of St Patrick were evident!

Anyway, the church interior and its floral decoration were stunning, as followers can see:

IMG_1246IMG_1247IMG_1252IMG_1257IMG_1264IMG_1270IMG_1272IMG_1274IMG_1275IMG_1277IMG_1282IMG_1288IMG_1290IMG_1291IMG_1309IMG_1310IMG_1312IMG_1313IMG_1318IMG_1326IMG_1327IMG_1329IMG_1333IMG_1336IMG_1339IMG_1349IMG_1357IMG_1404IMG_1412IMG_1423IMG_1425IMG_1427

 

The Wedding of David & Myriam (4)


The Bride Arrives.

Nobody cares about the groom. Any groom. In any country. Except maybe his mom. He just arrives as early as he can with his best man in tow and prays that half of those invited actually show up. He prays even harder that the bride will show up. Inshallah she will!

But when the bride arrives, that’s when the excitement starts……..

IMG_1082IMG_1085IMG_1108IMG_1166IMG_1169IMG_1170IMG_1179IMG_1180IMG_1185IMG_1186IMG_1187IMG_1188IMG_1190IMG_1192IMG_1200IMG_1206IMG_1207IMG_1220IMG_1221IMG_1237IMG_1239IMG_1241

The Wedding of David & Myriam (3)


The Guests Arrive (2 of 2).

And they just kept arriving………..

IMG_1401IMG_1390IMG_1376IMG_1373IMG_1234IMG_1232IMG_1228IMG_1222IMG_1216IMG_1213IMG_1210IMG_1208IMG_1204IMG_1202IMG_1201IMG_1195IMG_1175IMG_1172IMG_1163IMG_1157IMG_1156IMG_1155IMG_1154IMG_1152IMG_1147IMG_1146IMG_1144IMG_1141IMG_1138IMG_1133IMG_1130IMG_1129IMG_1125IMG_1123IMG_1120IMG_1118IMG_1111IMG_1110IMG_1107IMG_1106IMG_1098IMG_1096IMG_1094IMG_1093

The Wedding of David & Myriam (2)


The Guests Arrive (1 of 2).

MB lodged himself just inside the church entrance under some foliage to protect his follically-challenged head from the warm August rays. He had arrived at the church grounds some 30 minutes before the wedding ceremony was to take place to capture the location and the guests as they arrived. Despite wearing an open-neck shirt, minus any tie, it was still perspiration weather due to Jbail’s summer humidity, a consequence of its juxtaposition next to the adjacent sea.

And so the guests arrive:

IMG_1079IMG_1076IMG_1074IMG_1070IMG_1064IMG_1063IMG_1059IMG_1055IMG_1052IMG_1050IMG_1049IMG_1044IMG_1042IMG_1037IMG_1035IMG_1029IMG_1019IMG_1018IMG_1006IMG_1005IMG_1002IMG_1000IMG_0998IMG_0995IMG_0993IMG_0990IMG_0988IMG_0986IMG_0985IMG_0983IMG_0982IMG_0980IMG_0977IMG_0974IMG_0971IMG_0968IMG_0967IMG_0963IMG_0955

The Wedding of David & Myriam (1)


The Church.

MB mentioned in a recent post that he was again amongst the Lebanese for the wedding of a work colleague. The ceremony took place on Sunday last in the 900-year-old Christian Maronite Church of St Jean Marc in Byblos, in the modern-day town of Jbail, Jbail being situated on the Lebanese coastal highway approximately one hours drive north of Beirut. The beautiful old stone-cut church lies in the port area of the ancient habitation, next to the Crusader Castle which was built around the same time.

The church was constructed in the year 1115 AD, according to MB’s research, as the Cathedral of St John the Baptist, and is today dedicated to St John Mark, the patron saint of Jbail. It is thought that St JM was the founder of the first Christian community in the locality.

As a location for a wedding ceremony, perfect!

IMG_0937IMG_0939IMG_0942IMG_0940IMG_0944 (1)IMG_0945 (1)IMG_0947IMG_0948IMG_0946IMG_0962IMG_0955IMG_0963IMG_1247

 

Al Hallab Bakery


Abdul Rakhman Al Hallab bakery and coffee shop is a famous Lebanese institution much beloved by the natives. It is producing delicious cakes since 1881. The original ‘mother’ shop is located in Tripoli in northern Lebanon not far from the Syrian border and MB had the good fortune to visit there at end December 2016, when he was in Lebanon for the wedding of a work colleague. MB is now back amongst the Lebanese for another wedding, again that of a work colleague, this time in the ancient habitation of Byblos in the modern day town of Jbail. More on that wedding anon.

Google the city of Byblos, if you will. It’s one of the oldest habitations in the world with human occupation going back some 8,000 years as far as MB is aware. The Roman’s and many other civilisations were here, and the 1,100 year old Crusader castle still stands tall on the Byblos waterfront, one of Lebanon’s major tourist attractions. One can see some of the demolished Roman circular columns used on the lower parts of the castle walls. MB presumes this was a war psychology idea on the part of the Crusaders. Look at us, we are bigger and bolder and better than the Romans. You can see their demolished history at the base of our castle walls – sort of thing. 

The words Bible, and biblioteque (French for ‘library’) amongst others, derive from the Byblos name, as far as MB is aware because the Phonecians, who gave the world the first written alphabet, were also dwellers of the city of  Byblos. 

Archaeologists have managed in the past to decipher the Phonecian script, and when one visits the Crusader castle it is possible to get one of the guides to explain how to write one’s name in the ancient text.

Anyway, MB has digressed. MB was walking along a Byblos street yesterday evening when he had the good luck to stumble across an Al Hallab ‘daughter’ shop. He duly went in and had himself a tasty cake and an espresso.

A picture paints a thousands words, as the old ‘picture paints a thousand words’ saying goes. Herewith, some mouthwatering shots that MB shot off on his phone. Enjoy!

Foto Friday – Assaha Hotel, Beirut.


MB will head to Lebanon next weekend (the Islamic Eid Holiday weekend in the Middle East), where he is invited to a wedding in the ancient town of Byblos. Having seen the church and party venue online, it promises to be a great photo opp occasion for MB and his camera. Big thanks to work colleague DAM and his wife-to-be for the invitation.

The below photo is from the inside of Assaha Hotel, where MB spent the first night of his December 2016 previous Lebanon wedding trip. He received some special hospitality from local residents on the following morning on a local street when he went to buy a local phone sim card. But that’s a story for telling at another time.

IMG_8273

ME Culture (5)


The walls of the 12th century Crusader castle at Byblos, Lebanon. Byblos is considered the oldest continuously inhabited city/town in the world (at approx 8,000 years) and was founded by the Phoenicians. The castle walls are decorated with the columns of a former Greek (or Roman?) Temple which was demolished to make way for the castle. The stone columns of the temple were cut using a rope, water and sand. As shown in the second pic.

B1

B2