Of course all of us Beirutis #LiveLoveLebanon but at times we just have to scratch our heads at all the bizarre things we come across. Here are seven of the weirdest things in Lebanon.
Holdiay Inn in Beirut
Once a testament to the glittering tourism industry of Beirut, the 26 floor former Holiday Inn still towers over Beirut as a constant reminder of the country's 15-year civil war. During the hotel's golden days it was topped with a rotating rooftop restaurant. Now, the building stands empty and abandoned, impossible to renovate and very expensive to tear down.
Built by one man over 60 years, this bizarre castle that was started in 1962 has become a regular tourist destination for both Lebanese and foreigners flocking to the country. Ever since the age of 14, the builder dreamed of building his own castle and he did just that. On the castle's website, it states that, "Moussa wishes that one day some filmmakers would turn his story into a movie. It would be a winning card. He wishes also to be considered by the guinness book committee of world records as the establisher of the first touristic site to be built by one man's single hands."
Erm, good luck with that.
Mari Baez Wax Museum in Fakhreddine Palace
Including wax statues of everyone from former U.S. President George W. Bush, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and the first president of Lebanon, Bechara El Khoury, this strange wax exhibit gives us the creeps.
Camel at Baalbek
Ever present just outside what is perhaps Lebanon's most impressive historical tourist spot, the camel at Baalbek is rumored to be the only camel in the country. While that is probably not true, the camel's presence definitely plays more into Orientalist notions of the Middle East than into the reality of Lebanon.
Drive-up Liquor Stores
Heading on a road trip north and feel like a cold refreshing alcoholic beverage in route? Just do a quick drive-by pass any of the numerous liquor stores that line the highway and a teenager will happily bring beer, vodka, whiskey or whatever else you may wish to drink straight to your car window. No need to even shut-off the car before driving off with your beverage in hand.
The Airplane House in Miziara
Situated in a northern Lebanese village noted for its unusual architecture, this Airplane House takes home the national prize for most bizarre Lebanese home.
Hotel Amrieh in Bikfaya
Located in an ideal spot with a breathtaking view of Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea displayed below, Hotel Amrieh was once a grand resort with its own theater and cinema. Now, its gutted shell – rumored to be haunted – is great for exploring by adventurous teenagers.