What Makes Lebanon Such An Idiot-ic Country On The Mediterranean Sea?
It took The Idiot just three days of MedTrekking on the Lebanon coast north and south of Beirut to remind himself of the unique historical, cultural, religious, ethnic, military and political diversity found at this Mediterranean basin crossroads sandwiched between Syria and Israel.
The state of the seaside — dotted with obstructive military installations and ramshackle homes with unsanitary living conditions that vividly contrast with sophisticated beach clubs, chic marinas and lavish construction projects — tells part of the story.
But it is the eerie and surreal yang-and-yin contradictory effect that makes Lebanon so intirguing. Within steps of the intimidating tanks and smelly sewage-filled seaside hovels are calm sidewalks, spotless marinas and new buildings.
Religions, cultures and lifestyle also coexist side-by-side.
Refreshingly, nature and history are a constant presence.
Tomorrow: How Does The Idiot Meet A Nun, A Bodyguard, A Handyman And The Police In Lebanon?
Joel Stratte-McClure, an American journalist/adventurer who lived in France for over three decades, is the author of “The Idiot and the Odyssey: Walking the Mediterranean” (2008) and “The Idiot and the Odyssey II: Myth, Madness and Magic on the Mediterranean” (2013).
He is currently based in Northern California but travels regularly to the Mediterranean to gather anecdotes and add kilometers for his third book in this series: “The Idiot and the Odyssey III: Walking the Mediterranean in the Footsteps of Alexander the Great” (2018).
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