I had no expectations of Beirut. I made next to no research before my Lebanese trip. One of the few things I discovered was that travel bloggers I follow haven’t yet mapped the country properly. The second thing I noticed was a grin most of people made after I mentioned that I was heading to Beirut by myself.
Guess what, these frowning crowds were wrong. A solo trip to Beirut is nothing risky. A solo trip to Beirut taken by a girl is not any different. I don’t promise you will love it, but I know it will grow on you.
My ten days in Beirut have given me a feeling that Lebanese capital might be a difficult place to live. I found it extremely hectic. It was difficult to navigate and difficult to understand. Beirut is home to too many identities to be counted. Spending a week or two in this place won’t let you grasp it in any rational sense. To try to feel it instead seems to be a right choice. Try to feel it and you will love it.
How to feel a city? Is that what you are about to ask?
Get lost. Stroll aimlessly around a chosen district and try to find its gems. Greet back people who greet you. Eat street food. Observe. Be attentive. Feast on details you encounter.
The first thing that caught my eye in Beirut was its street art. I went to Gemmayzeh area and fall head over heels in love with it. The next day I went to Hamra and found some more. I stopped to take a photo of each and every piece of it. I couldn’t help it. It was stronger than the hustle and bustle around me.
Where I live, street art seems to be all about resistance and protest. There, in Beirut, it’s all about dreams. Daydreaming, who sane would say “no” to it? Certainly not me.
I always surrender to cities with vibrant street art scenes. I let them guide me through their alleys. I follow their walls. I never regretted it, not even once.