Bagpipes in Beirut

5 12 2009

Sunday meant we had to brave the highway to Beirut to attend church. I was looking forward to sampling city life in the Middle East so just imagine my sinking feeling when we heard the unmistakable drone of the bagpipes as we meandered down town. The church was doing a Scottish flavour in honour of St. Andrew and there was a kilted Scot playing the national embarrassment. Apologies to anyone who plays the pipes. I do like them at the foot of Glencoe but really nowhere else.

My Middle East flavour was to come after church when we went to a Lebanese restaurant to sample many dishes. Oh, what delight! Vine leaves, cheese stick things, hummus, lamb, and lots of other things I can’t remember the names of. If only my cooking could compete. All of this was nicely washed down by a cappuccino from Starbucks. Sooooo good.

We checked out the local sights and then it was time for the car journey back to Tyre. Andrea once again rose to her extreme driving challenge – passing the herd of cows with barely a glance, dodging the craters in the road, avoiding overtaking and oncoming cars with the faintest of swerves and not batting an eyelid when it became apparent that the army had stopped the traffic coming in the opposite direction because there was too much of it.

We had more coffee with more friends before setting the alarm for 5am (we were now sleeping through the call to prayer) so that we could get to the airport for 7am. Hard to believe the trip was almost over.




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