Chouf

2 weeks ago I had this wonderful trip to a city called Chouf. Here in Lebanon. We decided to take a guided tour with some other hikers. We started at 3 o’clock saturday afternoon. A bus full of hiking geeks. Pretty nice people. I took a deep nap on the ride to Chouf. When we arrived there, it was already dark and very cold. We rented a small mansion with the group. Our guides set fire inside the living room and served us traditional lebanese food.

Unfortunatly it was so dark, that I just captured my collegues next to me. My new collegue Steffen.

And his wife. She messed around with his camera.

It was very cold. But I really loved to sit in front of the fire with a warm peppermint tea. I loved the atmosphere of this evening.

After some lebanese mezze, all of us had a filled stomach. Everyone was really calm and relaxed.

The lebanese guys and girls told us some nice stories.

The fire. I loved the cracking of the wood. It was really hypnotizing to stare at the flames.

The next morning was really, really cold. I had a black coffee and a walk around the mansion. They had a nice garden. Perfect for BBQ’s. Since it was still around 8 o’clock in the morning, the only sound I heard was the wind.

Leftovers from the last hikers.

At the horizon was our aim. A mountain, that we wanted to climb. Our plan was to have a hike with snowshoes in the woods.

Scattered and rough landscape. That seems to be a nice downhill area.

I walked around the mansion and I found a totally calm Chouf. Seems, as if everybody was still asleep.

No cats, no dogs, no birds, no strangers. Just quietness.

I returned and I warmed myself in front of the fire with a hot coffee and a plate full of beans and bred.

Later we had a nice walk in the woods. I was stunned by the landscape. It was like a forest from a fairytale. Unfortunatly I didn’t take any pictures, because a blizzard came up. But since I’m staying here the next four years – more is yet to come…