Tyre is an old Phoenician city, and had the requisite Greek and Roman presences later on as well. I went to the first half ofthe ruins, and am going to go to theother half (maybe 20 mins walk from thefirst). The otherhalf has the best preserved Hippodrome inthe world, or so says Lonely Planet.
*Beirut, at least, feels very European. French, tobe precise, but either way it's the cleanest city I've beento so far. And the only buildings that have exposed concrete and rebar sticking out the top (perhaps the *real* hallmark of modern Arab Architecture) arethe ones that are stillobviously under construction. And there are a fair amount of those. At one point, I saw maybe a half-dozen cranes in one 30 degree arc.
* In Lebanon, you can exchange US dollars for Lebanese Lira almost everywhere at a rate of 1:1500. Sometimes, you give them money and the change comes back as a mixture of Lira and Dollars. I've heard you can give them a mixture too.
* It's pricey here. Depending on what you're buying, perhaps not quite as expensive as the US, but close.
And, a packing list (subject to modifications as I remember more stuff):
- 1 Internal frame backpack
- 1 micro-fill sleeping bag (maybe sheets would've been better?)
- 1 Beach towel
- 1 Sham-Wow towel (I mainly use this when I can get away with it)
- 3 shirts: 2 LL Bean and 1 travelsmith
- 2 pairs underwear (Ex Officio brand... got 'em at REI)
- 2 pairs socks
- 1 pair REI convertible shorts/pants
- 1 "Ultra-Tourist" vest. I don't actually know what the brand is, but you know the kind I mean... about 23 godzillion pockets in various obvious and hidden places.
- 1 pair Jeans
- 1 pair swim trunks
- 1 pair cargo shorts (haven't worn 'em yet)
- 1 pair Sneakers
- 1 pair sandals
- 1 fleece
- 1 rain coat
- 3 Bandanas (haven't used 'em yet)
- 2 rolls toilet paper
- Camera and rechargeable batteries (AA) + charger
- iPod shuffle + charger.
- Travel alarm clock
- First aid kit (most used item: Immodium)
- Crazy-Creek camp chair (haven't used it)
- Several travel guides and other books