Summer Highlight II: Sweet Sour Getaway

There are plenty of options to spend a day at the beach not too far from Beirut, whether you go North or South – it’s a coastal country after all… Just have to pick a mood from GiBbyish at St Georges to partyish at Oceana to super-Bobo at Lazy-B, or pick a place from laid-back Pierre and Friends to 5-star pampering at Orchid (beware some of these sun tanning days might end up costing over 50$).

Yeah we can watch the world go by...up on Cloud Fifty Nine!
… But by far the most pristine, the largest, the prettiest – and generally one of the cleaner ones – , is the public sand beach of Sour (Tyre), about 80 minutes’ drive south of Beirut just next to the Tyre Rest House. It was my number one beach option this summer, whenever I was willing to push the car ride an hour further.

The beach often has cristal blue water (thanks to Israel and the Northbound currents) and stretches several kilometers for your jogging pleasure. It has about 50 identical wooden cabins housing small restaurants that the locals call “the Tents” (“el Khiyam”), and it’s the very last one, called Cloud 59, that has more of a Beirut-ish atmosphere. It’s run by cool hippy looking guys and their girl boss, it serves alcohol even during Ramadan (daring!), it''s super relaxed yet with good music, it has different areas both crowded and secluded, and most of all… it is unbelievably GiB-friendly!

And to top the Europe-style beachgoing experience, the city of Sour packs a lot of features, too: the charm of its old harbor, its excellent and reasonably priced fish restaurants, the narrow pedestrian streets of the Old City and its street markets, a couple lovely boutique hotels and owners’ room for rent ideal for a one night stay-over, the surrounding Archeological sites (and Palestinian camps!), and the list goes on…

Despite its run-down infrastructure and rampant poverty, Tyre is in my mind THE up-and-coming beachtown of Lebanon: definitely more sweet than sour!


Summer Highlight I: The Sporting Parties

Yesterday Sept.21 was the official end of the summer. As I pick up the first autumn leaves on my balcony I look back at these past months and I can say that for me, they were a sequence of quiet and busy times (and blogging inactivity!), with a couple highlights.

Sure Summer 2011 Beirut Nightlife had a lot of highlights way overground: The new White, the new Pier 7, the revamped Sky Bar – and the list goes on –, the terrace parties were booming!

But for those of us who like it more underground, if there is one place that embodied best the alternative scene this summer, it has to be Sporting Club.

Coincidentally or not, many main actors in the scene threw at least 2 or 3 parties there sometimes at one week intervals - whether it be P.C., Behind the Green Door or Basement.

I obviously had to miss some of them but those I made it to were great for the most part, the outdoor location by the sea really helps make for a cool party when the crowd is fun, the music’s good, and the GiBs are putting it on.

It might not be too late yet, Basement is throwing “the last one” this coming Saturday! Will the weather permit one last crazy night?

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