(GUEST WRITER: Cho Cho on why she wants to "Ski Leb")
I could tell from the expressions on everyones' faces that announcing I was really excited to visit Lebanon on my next vacation was not exactly what they expected to hear. It was more similar to the horror I faced from them in the past when I announced my fascination with Detroit as a destination du jour than I was anticipating. Apparently the Middle Eastern Wonderland-of-Plenty I've been pining for has not yet hit most people's radar as the most exciting and safe place EVER to take a vacation.
Cause I'm convinced that Lebanon totally RULES!
Beirut has been getting a lot of press lately due to the recent asassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri and the ensuing demonstrations during which hundreds of thousands of citizens took to the streets to protest the de-facto occupation of the country over the last 30 years by neigboring Syria. And come on, we all definitely know what we're supposed to think of Syria, even if our political stance on Lebanon itself is a bit hazy. They are totally not into western democracy, plus they've been bullying around a much cuter, smaller country; one that has an emerging art scene a coastline that would make anyone want to relax and start cocktailling and some totally skiiable mountains (see photos.)
But seriously, I first noticed Beirut when Wallpaper magazine ran a story about 5 or 6 years ago on a litterally 'underground' bar that was in an old war bunker with some killer lighting and that kind of interior design that makes you swoon. (BLOGORELLI NOTE: it is not uncoincidental that a bar would be enough of a reason for Cho patronize a tourist destination; girl likes the hard stuff and will travel for a quality G&T)
Things were quiet for a few years after that, well until this year actually, when I remembered about that bar, and went to check out a website I'd heard about, SkiLeb.com, all about skiing and snowboarding in Lebanon. With all the press Lebanon has been getting in recent months, its hard NOT to think about going there on our next vacation.
Convincing the husband might be a bigger hurdle than customs though, I'm guessing."