Au­tumn speaks

Lebanon Traveler - - LEBANON TRAVELER -

Fall is ev­ery bit the sea­son of the lands, as tem­per­a­tures cool down, the land­scape’s col­ors melt, leaves fall and the time of harvest is upon us. Tra­di­tion­ally it’s a fes­tive time for Le­banon’s ru­ral parts – when vil­lagers come to­gether to make their yearly harvest, from pick­ing the olives of an­cient trees to make that golden olive oil, to pluck­ing ap­ples and bring­ing in the grapes for wine and arak; all end­ing in hearty vil­lage feasts. Plenty of groups of fer har­vest­ing daytrips (NEOS Kids, 03 733818, neoslb.com; Au­berge Ha­dath El Jebbeh, 01

680222, ha­dathel­jebbeh.com), where you can work with farm­ers to bring in the year’s growth, it’s the per­fect way to celebrate the sea­son and con­nect to na­ture. This is­sue we speak to the di­rec­tor of the Beited­dine Fes­ti­val, Nora Joumblatt, to find out about the new “Au­then­tic Shouf” cam­paign, to boost tour ism to the re­gion and pro­mote its lo­cal tra­di­tions. We ex­plore Le­banon’s na­tional dr ink, arak, and meet the women be­hind the countr y’s ru­ral co­op­er­a­tives who are preser ving lo­cal food tra­di­tions. We visit the Bekaa Val­ley’s Qab Elias, tak­ing in the town’s his­tor ical land­marks and stop at in­de­pen­dent mu­sic pro­ducer, Zeid Ham­dan’s Shouf es­cape; a home in­ter twined with his­tor y. There’s a healthy fix of Beirut cul­ture too; from ar­chi­tect Galal Mah­moud’s re­design of the Beirut in­sti­tu­tion, Le Br is­tol Ho­tel, to the his­tor ic an­tique distr ict, Basta. As al­ways, we de­liver your prac­ti­cal hands-on guide to Le­banon track­ing down the ex­per ts to br ing you the best places to stay, eat and visit around the countr y.

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