Sidon III

Finally I can say – Sidon completed. Since I’ve been here a couple of times and I enjoyed to visit the town, I always had the wish to see all of it’s sights and touristic locations. I just didn’t want to have another walk through town – I wanted to see it all. After I did some research, I’ve made a list with about 10 places that are definitely worth a visit.  Sven and Olaf joined me for this tour and we headed last sunday towards Sidon.

We started early in the morning – 8 o’clock and arrived quarter to nine in SidonQala`at al Bahr was the first place to see. Headed directly at the shore, it’s impossible to miss the sea castle.

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As often as I’ve been there, as often the main gate was closed. This sunday it was open and we went inside to capture some photographs of the ruins.

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It was a bit hazy this morning and we looked for cover inside the ruins.

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Around the castle – the harbor of Sidon.

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Though the area around the castle characterized by modern civilization, the inner parts remained almost as intact, as hundreds of years ago. Impressive, that these stones still withstand the rough see and storms.

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We took the wooden stairs and entered the main tower. A gentle breeze howled through it’s windows.

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At the horizon: one of the countless mosques of Saida.

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The courtyard was flooded from time to time by the huge waves that hit the castle. It was a stormy day.

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Olaf wasn’t impressed by the storm and took some photos for the family album.

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Sven still struggled with his brand new Nikon and 35mm 1.4f.

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A lebanese couple, that used the cover to share a moment of intimacy.

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The guards from the main gate of the castle provided us with a map of Sidon, that helped us a lot to find the most remarkable locations in town.

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Time for a fish soup?

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Anyone remembers this car?

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Next location: Khan al Franj a center for traders and a harem at the same time. I was surprised that all these touristic places didn’t charge us with entrance fees. A great surprise for a european tourist.

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The place was still intact and covered us from the storm. Imagine this place full of traders, craftsmen and little shops.

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Stunning architecture, if you keep in mind that it was built in the 17th century.

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This place could be used for concerts and gigs.

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Later on we entered the suqs of Sidon. It was still empty and calm, but it was ok – since it was early morning.

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We walked pass the labyrinthine alleys and found ourselves finally in front of the…

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…great Omari mosque.

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It was hidden in a small courtyard and a beautiful place to be calm for a minute and listen to the muezzin and his prayers.

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Some details of the decoration from the mosque.

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We continued to the eastern area of Sidon and found by chance a german truck.

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And a black cat which chased me. Like the one from Paris 😉

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Take care stranger !

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Time for a coffee. Olaf monitored the shore. It was a calm morning.

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Coffee and tea is definitely a must for everyone of us in the morning.

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We climbed the Murex hill to get a panoramic view of Sidon. We did not find out what kind of ruins were located here, but it was for sure something from the phoenician past of Lebanon.

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But still, every single piece of land is covered with buildings. Such a beautiful piece of land, but too much concrete.

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The photographer himself.

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I’m in love with baklava, so I took the chance and bought a kilogram of it. With a price of 9.000 LL it was a bargain buy.

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Perfect stuff for tea time and n’arguile.

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One of the last stops led us to the Soap museum. Syria is famous for it’s olive soaps and since we were here for a touristic visit, we had to see the museum too.

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These soaps are being handmade and manufactured without chemicals and alcohol. We’ve bought a lot of them as gifts for friends and family.

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The entrance of the museum.

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Some random impressions of the alleys in Sidon.

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Our last stop was the Temple of Eshmoun in the north of Sidon, next to the Arwali river. It was a ruined phoenician temple and part of the Unesco world heritage.

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The temple was embedded in the landscape of Sidon, under a huge carpet of flowers and grass.

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We climbed onto the rocks and stones and felt very small, compared to it’s size.

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The broken throne.

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Daisies everywhere.

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A massive temple, but unfortunately in bad condition. Yet it’s a perfect location for a day trip with all the other locations here in Sidon. You get an idea of the culture and it’s civil works and they are free for entrance.

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