Thursday, June 29

The Scenic Route

Lately I've been hearing a lot of great things about Beirut from an ex-perpetual refugee and a truly free cedar, I'm thinking of going up there for a long weekend. We'll see how it works out.

(Note: If you check only one link from this whole post... Take the scenic route)

I'm getting tired of airplanes and airports… so these are the 3 popular options to get from Tel Aviv to Beirut by land:

1) The fast and easy way:

The Pilgrim Express, often referred to as the Jerusalem-Beirut Express even though there is one stop at Galilee Station for people who want to visit Nazareth or The Kinneret (Sea of Galilee). The Express is actually one of the worlds most advanced Maglev trains and was a joint venture funded by various Christian organizations and the joint Israeli/Palestinian tourism offices.

A regular ticket is quite expensive, but discounts are available via various churches worldwide.

Since the reforms, Beirut is becoming one of the leading international travel hubs (The gateway to the Gulf as some people like to call it) . Many Europeans planning their trip to the Holy Land opt to land in Lebanon with their church sponsered roundtrip Pilgrim Express tickets.

2) The slow and cheap way:

For those who find going east to Jerusalem in order to go north to Beirut sort of a hassle. It's quite easy to get to the border on the cheap old Israrail, swap trains to newer Lebanese Railway at the Nikra/Naqura station, and onwards towards Beirut.

3) The independent and fun way (my favorite option):

While the Lebanese government and Green Line are trying to reduce the number of private cars and get more people on public transportation, being better for the environment, the economy and even culturally.

As a tourist I highly recommend driving up!

Rent a car, or take your own... take the scenic route!

And to think, all this was once considered just a dream


Blogger the perpetual refugee said...

I always prefer the scenic route. It's just so much more fun. Even though I do take the express train more often as it's more convenient visiting my Tel Aviv office that way. Besides, one of my grandchildren now has an Israeli wife. Such a coincidence. She's the grandchild of the same taxi driver I met in Tel Aviv those many many years ago. He passed away a few years back but his son is still in touch with me.

Blogger Unknown said...

The scenic route has always been my favorite option as well, used it a lot in my young days ... The friends, the spontaneity, the landscape, the fun, the freedom. But am getting a little old for that now, and the long road can be quite tiring.
So I've started using the express. You gain in comfort and time, without losing sight of the beautiful landscape. What more could an old chap as myself ask for.

Blogger Shai 2046 said...

It's nice to see that you both live in Lebanon! I'm sure you've driven up and down the coast so many times that the Express is easier on you these days... it's pretty scenic itself as it doesn't run parallel to any major roads for the most part...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shai, is there any way you could make this world real?

Blogger Shai 2046 said...


If all the people who wanted to make it real did something about it, no matter how small, it wouldn't be that far away…

I think writing this blog helps mold the future into the one written in it.

Interacting with people who share this or a similar vision increases the chances of making it all happen, not by convincing those who are opposed, but by showing everyone what you think and how easily it can be done, step by step, individual to individual.

The question is not if I can make it real, the question is: Will you help me?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot imagine how you managed to miss the skiing area in the Jabal Bu Dalaj mountains. I cannot forget how they used to say that investment for a ski resort wouldn't be be profitable because of minimal snowfall, but then they looked at and decided that if it's possible in the desert heat it would surely be possible in the mountains!!! :)

The view of the Mediteranian was so great from the mountains that on our way back we decided to take a dip in the beach to cool down. You should check it out.

ba2k - 2046

Blogger Lirun said...

shai i agree

Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Shai,
I'm Hester from Amsterdam, 30 years, and by coincidence reading your blog, starting point was a practical question I have: how to go to Beirut the most fun and budget way. Nice thought writing about the future and so turning writing into real future :)My question concerns the harsh reality.., do you give answers to that? is option 2 by train still possible from tel aviv tot beirut? thanks

Blogger Unknown said...

Hihi, I just opened the 'lebanon airlines'. So your future is still under construction i guess?


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