One morning, while I was in Tripoli, I woke up with an urge to go study the architecture of few monuments in the old town city. It felt more like… it was an internal study, a study of my own soul architecture. As I went gazing and zooming in with my camera, into what looked like an Ottoman design, I was able to see a reflection of myself. Refined architecture. That is hidden between several other elements, creating some sort of haziness. They are there, right there, but no one can see them. They are too busy with their every day routine, that they never get to once sit, and enjoy the beauty that lies between their own reflection. They have taken everything for granted. They don’t really question the meaning of their existence, seeing them standing out, not noticing that they do not look like the rest of the other buildings. So they have been blended along with all the other buildings, and they will only rise again when someone takes initiative to pull the curtains off. They are curtains covering the eyes of the people, and not covering the work of art. The work of art, is there, visible. And that is when, people will question, “how did we grow up to become so blinded?” And that is my soul architecture, it has been created in a way no other can see but myself. I can see it, so clearly, if I give myself the opportunity to. I can sit and watch my own soul stand out. I can sit and watch my own soul put, as it was put in the first place. Watch the design, it was created to appear to be, and let it be what it is here to be.
Tripoli is so poetic; it is just like Jasmine and Cardamom mixed together and sprayed between the tree leaves. This city is ancient wonderland located Northern side of Lebanon. I have a weakness for architectural art. I would walk all day for it, I would stand still and look at it for hours, I can leave everything, find a bench and sit as I gaze at it. If I sound like you, then book your next destination to Tripoli, Lebanon.
You will experience understanding the mixology between architectural art, or maybe not truly understand it, but sense it. I am unfamiliar with architecture studies myself, but I am obsessed with it. I have seen art in Tripoli that dates back to the Mamluk times, Art Nouveau, Islamic Art and of course Ottomans. You walk the old city of Tripoli and it is just like a walk through history. There is also a Spanish Breeze as you explore the city, I felt like I was somewhere in Spain several times as I was exploring Tripoli.
I have taken few photos below of the Old city of Tripoli, Grand Mosque Mansouri Mosque, a popular dish by the name Maghrbieh, a popular dessert by the name Ma’jouka, a famous game that the elderly enjoy playing by the name Doma that is very similar to chess, and the Citadel of Raymond de Saint-Gilles or Qal’at Sanjil Castle.
Old, authentic, and a great exploration. I spent my first day in Tripoli just browsing around the city to take a glimpse of what it is about. Just to estimate the amount of time I need to explore, and it sure is one of those cities that need at least a good week to find the best of the best inside out. It has so much to offer, but things are a little buried under.
In my photos you will first see a great spacious exhibition area that used to hold alot of concerts in the past and theater shows. Today it is used as an automobile exhibition. We then went for a quick roam around the old city of Tripoli, where the market is, and the old mosques and churches reside. The architecture in Tripoli is brilliant, you will see the Islamic art, the arabesque, the Ottomans, very similar to architecture resemblance found in old Palestine.
We then had lunch at one of the most popular restaurants “Akra”, that can be visited for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner. It serves traditional dishes of Tripoli and the Middle East like; Hummus, Fatet Hummus and Fool. After which we walked towards “Khan al Saboun” Soap house to shop for some hand made authentic soaps that are made with lavender, rose, olive oil and more scents and herbal spices. We then went for some Arabic ice-cream from the Mina area as we enjoyed watching one of the most beautiful sunsets to take place ever.
Best part of the day was the evening of it, we ended it at one of the most famous arabian desert making shop “Al Halab”, we had knafeh with chocolate and some lahmeh bajeen. Delicious.
There is nothing more beautiful than exploring, traveling and road tripping.
So here I am in the lands of Lebanon, we first arrived to Beirut airport and from there, we started driving up towards Tripoli. Between the old architecture, blue sea and skies, we drove. We entered Tripoli that smelled like authenticity, old tall buildings scattered one next to the other, it looks very much like Barcelona. What is so beautiful about the Middle-eastern old architecture is the art that is incorporated with it.
The heat in Tripoli was incredible, it was too humid and too hot, we had home-made Lahmeh Bajeen and Cordon bleu for lunch, and continued our road trip more to the north towards a mountain village called Ehden. Breezy and cool, the weather transformation is magical, an hour drive away and the weather is the complete opposite. Luckily, we arrived at sunset, got mesmerized by the view, had halloumi cheese for dinner, and started the walk around the tiny little town that never sleeps during the summer.