saturday by the sea

Ah, I can't find a way to begin this post. Do I start with a question? With a "today, this is what happened, this is where I went, this is what I did?"

I don't know. I'm at loss for words.

So to pull it all back together, I'm just going to start talking. 

A visit to Antoine (our favorite local bookseller) then a long trip to Batroun under a perfect sky made my regular saturday just fantastic.

Anytime I go to a bookstore, I am happy. That's a rule that will never be bent. So we went to the bookstore, bought the books we needed, bought the books we did not need. That's another rule. Everytime I go to bookstore, I happily buy a book I do not need. But what am I saying? There is no book I buy that I do not need. 

And this one, well, was spectacular. But I will leave the details for another post.

Then we headed out, Nadine, Nadine, Dima and I. We drove [Nadine drove] for about two hours to get to Batroun, a place [supposedly an hour and a half away from Beirut;] overlooking the Mediterranean, to get to a teeny tiny restaurant, gorgeous in its every detail. We did not go to the mountains, the usual go-to place by all the Lebaneesies on a warm winter weekend. Why, you ask? Just because. Going up any mountain on a sunny saturday [or sunday] means the trip will be wasted on the road as we will get stuck in the ever-abundant traffic. Our car tires will be teasing us, because they will be the only ones in contact with the snow [the big crowd of skiers will mean that there is no place for us to park our car let alone to ski properly.] But I shall be wronged. Because soon, you will be reading about a new trip. Oh well.

To continue the story, we got lost in the streets, the narrow streets that barely fit one car. But whereas the streets of Beirut are usually busy with all sorts of mini stores, these streets were deliciously empty. To the exception of the small group of "Harley-Davidson" enthusiasts who chilled by the sea [and who, obviously, clashed with the general decor in an interesting way], the place was so peaceful and calm.

So reaching the restaurant we were headed to gave us a happy and thrilling surprise. We squeaked and jumped [well I did so internally at least.] One street took us to an alley at the end of which was situated our little restaurant. Vibrant and buzzing, it was packed, and it was such a far cry from the quiet little streets around. Walking in, we saw the owner roasting fish and shrimps, obviously fresh from the net, and screaming at the top of her voice. We asked for our table and went to sit down. People were swimming in the sea just next to us, while some were only basking in the warmth of the sun. Other laughed out loud, quite a few times. Quite too many times, if you asked us, and in quite a hysteric fashion. But it was all good. The restaurant looked great inside. It had painted warm walls, patterned couches and lovely old windows whose frames had faded colors. But we sat outside, to make the best of that timid weather of ours, [a storm will be visiting again on wednesday]. We ordered our food, and everything looked and tasted great... until the last dish appeared. We wanted to have the calamari grilled, because we were trying to avoid eating fried food, and what we got... was something else. It was calamari alright. But the kind of calamari that Sally would have prepared for Jack [Skellington, that is] in Halloween Town. 

This was followed by some explorations, and the pictures that you will find at the end of this post. We went crazy over this spot that Dima and Nadine had already visited on a previous trip. It was a piece of land close to the sea, and begging to be a part of it. So we walked on the moony crater-filled surface, barely keeping balance, and yapping loudly in a british accent. We took [plenty of] pictures made crazy, courtesy of the wind in our hair. There was so much laughter and it could not get any better.

Then to Beirut we all marched back [drove back is more like it].

And here is where I leave you, invisibles, trusting you with a few of our pictures!

Tatroun, [That's Batroun with a T instead of the B.]



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