All posts filed under: Travel

Moussa Castle, A Castle of Dreams

Built on a hill between Deir El Qamar and Beiteddine, you can find the life work of a man named Moussa hence Moussa Castle. Moussa Abdel Karim Al Maamari dreamt at just 14 years old of building a great castle. When the teacher asked the students to draw a bird, Moussa drew his dream castle but was beaten and ridiculed by his teacher. Mocked by his classmates and the girl he was in love with at the time, he ditched school and went on to work with his uncle restoring Saida’s fortress.  Later on he continued renovating castles and gaining experience in the field and went on to work at Beiteddine Palace restoring the museum of  Emir Bashir Chehabi II. Having acquired the skills and excellence in his domain, Moussa finally decided to buy a piece of land and start working on his dream castle. With the help of his wife, he did not rest and worked early mornings till late nights until his castle came to life. The castle is open for visitors local and …

Mir Amin Palace Hotel, Beiteddine

When we feel the need for a much deserved break but don’t have the luxury (or days off) to travel, a staycation is a must. If you look on the bright side of staycations the best part is definitely the no rush to catch a plane and hassle of packing, plus the added bonus of discovering a new beautiful city in Lebanon. A smooth, fun road trip, beautiful scenery, valleys and green hills. We finally arrive to Mir Amin Palace Hotel, a 19th century landmark located in Beiteddine, 45 km south of Beirut. We were very much impressed by the hotel’s stunning old architecture and design. Mir Amin was built by Emir Bashir II and is the remaining one of the 3 palaces built that survived. The hotel has been renovated but kept it’s charm and character and many original features were also retained. We fell in love as soon as we stepped out of the car and than into the courtyard on our way to our room. It’s a vast open courtyard, where guests …

Lebanon’s Top Wineries

Ixsir Winery Selected by CNN as one of the greenest buildings in the world, Ixsir is set in Basbina, Batroun. You can book your visit and wine tasting in which a guide will take you on a journey in the terroirs and explain the wine making process. They also have a restaurant by Nicolas Audi serving lunch a la carte daily except Mondays when the winery is closed and an extensive lunch buffet on the weekend. Château Ksara One of the oldest wineries in Lebanon, Ksara was founded in 1857 by Jesuit monks who inherited the land and went on to produce Lebanon’s first dry wine. Visits are available all year round, you will be welcomed at the winery and taken for a tour of the historic Roman caves where Ksara’s rarest and finest vintages are stored. The tour will finish with a tasting of their wine selection. Château Kefraya The first vines were planted in 1951 and in 1979 Chateau Kefraya started producing it’s own wine. In the early 80’s they won their first …

4 Bite-Worthy Burgers In Kaliningrad

Good burger intel is just as important as any other piece of information you need before visiting a new city!! Trust us this was not an easy list to make but here is our rundown of the most bite-worthy burgers you’ll find, so if you are planning to visit Kaliningrad make sure you don’t miss out on these joints !! Огонек Гриль-кафе | Ogonek Grill Cafe A sinfully succulent, deliciously comforting masterpiece! This place serves a multitude of great dishes but the burger truly stands out. A buttery, slightly crisp bun, a slather of mayo, lettuce and pickles, a patty the size of a hockey puck and the whole thing is topped with a perfectly runny poached egg. This burger is not for sharing … I mean just look at it! БургерБар | BurgerBar This place is smack in the middle of the city center. Burgerbar is hard to miss with its floor to ceiling glass walls and minimalist interior. The menu consists of pages and pages of mouthwatering burgers and your order gets prepared right in front of …

36 Hours in Kaliningrad, Russia

  Time for some history! Kaliningrad was founded by the Knights of the Teutonic Order and for almost 700 years was under German control. For centuries it was known as Königsberg, birthplace of Immanuel Kant and a key Baltic coast port in German East Prussia. At the end of WWII, Königsberg and the surrounding territory became part of Russia. The Germans were expelled; Russians were moved in and the city and the region were named after one of Stalin’s henchmen, Kalinin. If all that comes to mind when thinking about Russia is Vodka, think again.   FRIDAY 4 P.M. Kaliningrad State Art Gallery The Kaliningrad State Art Gallery opened in 1988, comprised of 8 exhibition rooms ranging from 150 to 500 sqm and holds up to 50 art exhibitions every year. Their library collection includes more than 8,000 books on art and culture, with lecture halls equipped with modern multimedia fitment. We were able to attend an exhibition of paintings showcasing the past of Kaliningrad. 6 P.M. Britannika Pub A classic English pub with a …

Urban Lebanon - Beirut FoodPorn

The Picturesque Village Of Douma

On the weekend, we took a trip to the beautiful and quiet village of Douma. At an altitude of 1150 m., it is 80 km from Beirut, 30 km from Jbeil and 43 km from Tripoli. Douma is a part of Batroun district and is known for it’s special location in a valley surrounded by mountains, it is also famous for its beautiful red brick roofs. We took a stroll in the lovely quiet old souks, between the traditional stone houses, wooden doors and vines so perfectly preserved, it felt as if time never existed on these streets. We found a charming little shop occupied by a woman selling all kinds of Mouneh products; from cheeses to jams to stuffed olives and pickles, and most importantly rose and tout syrups, we couldn’t help but buy a few jars. A few meters away we discovered another store where a young woman was selling beautiful hand painted artisan items. We were truly impressed by the traditional characters and patterns drawn on bottles, ceramics and wood. Time flew by and before we knew it, it was lunch time …