Georges SalibaProf TancrediENG 1AJanuary 16, 2018Phoenicia I grew up in a small country called Lebanon and stayed there till I turned twenty one years old. Growing up in just one place makes you not recognizing how beautiful it is and you will get used to seeing the same thing since you were born. Lebanon is an ancient country that used to be called Phoenicia, has a lot of ancient castles and towers, but I didn’t think about knowing or asking about its stories because I never thought I would be one of the tourists to Lebanon. When I turned twenty one years old, I moved to the United States of America to finish my bachelors, stayed two years without visiting Lebanon until I met someone that is actually really interested to visit Lebanon and needed a guide to the distinguishing ancient touristic places. A few months back, it all started when I decided to take a history class, a class that I don’t like, but I need it to graduate. The class was boring; I didn’t find anything interesting in it, talking about world’s history and ancient sites and locations around the world. Until I met a girl in this class that was really enthused with the historical stories that teacher was telling. After class I came up to the girl, “I wasn’t expecting to find someone really excited about this class” I said, “I was waiting for this class to learn about the places I was dreaming to visit”, she answered. Going through the semester, after knowing the girl better and better, I started becoming more interested in the history, just because of the way she talks and show you how interesting history can be, you will become more excited about visiting ancient cities so you can actually see what you have been learning about. In the end of the semester, I was going to visit Lebanon after two years; she decided to go with me to visit my city “Byblos” that turns out it is one of the oldest cities in the world, that it is believed to have been occupied first between eight and seven thousand years Before Christ. When we got on the plane, she had a book with her, showing directions and information about every historical city in Lebanon, which lot of them I actually did not know they are in Lebanon. Her passion about historical places made me excited to see it, they felt like something I was missing a lot in Lebanon. We glanced out through the airplane’s window, looking at Beirut the capital of Lebanon, and my friend started to look in her book really fast to see she can see any ancient tower from the plane. The plane landed midday in the hot, humid summer time in Beirut. We decided to go straight to Byblos and start from there. When we got there, she started taking picture of everything; although I grew up in this city, and all my memories are here, I have never noticed how amazing the touristic sites in it until I saw someone actually excited about them. We started with the big old churches in the city, “look how the holy pictures are carved on the walls!” she said while taking pictures. I have been to this church many times, but I have never noticed such an amazing ancient decoration in it, I started looking up and around the church, seeing such a huge statues and pictures in it. I was stunned with how people can do such a great work without the tools and technology that we have now. After taking a lot of pictures and going through each historical item in the castle, we walked down to the beach while it’s like a furnace outside. We walked down in a separate route for pedestrians, surrounded by high colorful trees all around us; we could see the sunlight shining between the leaves while we felt a bit of breeze walking through the alleys. As we got to the beach, we walked next to the port, and we saw a bay full of old antique boats, looking like an Italian romantic movie scene. Some people are fishing and some people are sailing, it was full of active people, especially tourists. We took off our shoes and started walking on the sand with some small waves hitting our feet, walking next to people playing Frisbee, some people playing volley ball. Then we started walking on the pier, where you can see waves hitting all around the pier, with loud music playing, and lot of people dancing next to the pier bar. After the beach, we decided to go to another city to see some old stuff were in the book. We didn’t want to waste any time, we were both really excited because we were going to Baalbek. An old town in Lebanon that I have only seen it in pictures, I hear people talking about how pretty it is, but never had a chance to actually go see it. Baalbek is a town full of historical memories in it, an ancient Phoenician city located in north of Beirut, that’s the beauty of Lebanon, you can cross it in couple hours so you have a chance to see everything with a short vacation. When got to Baalbek, the sun still had an hour to set, so we still have some time to see it with some sunlight. The main site in Baalbek is the temple of Bacchus, one of the best preserved and grandest Roman temple ruins in the world. The temple is surrounded by lot of columns that we started to count them to be forty two columns, eight along each end and fifteen along each side. It is amazing how big and beautiful it is, lot of wars happened in this temple, the wars that we read about in the history and people still talk about it until now. This vacation meant a lot to me, because I didn’t know how beautiful Lebanon is, I always thought about it as my home, but I didn’t encourage people to go there before, I thought there is nothing to see there, but I was mistaken. Lebanon has a lot of touristic places in it, has a beautiful night life, which will give specialty from the Arab World, and has a lot of historical sites in it, and I mean like really old one, some thousands years old, which is an astounding thing to see and know about, know how they worked together without any equipment that we have now to build such an amazing huge castles for their kings to live in. I didn’t really care about historical sites before until I started learning about it and with the encouragement of my friend that she made the vacation a lot of fun and kind of educational at the same time. This trip made me feel like I went to Lebanon for the first time, lot of places I still want to visit and I want to know about in Lebanon.