Jeita Grotto, Jounieh, and Byblos, Lebanon
Lebanon is a beautiful country. I really knew nothing about its looks or its landscape before I went there. I huge mountain range follows along the coastline and is covered in dense evergreens. Over the ridge come great hills and valleys, likewise covered in lush foliage. I spent a day hitting all the tourist spots to photograph the local tourists getting to know their own country. Not many foreigners were to be found in my time there. Really everything I did, I did alongside the Lebanese.
It was a great experience to discover and enjoy a country alongside its residents. They were just as curious and awed and picture-happy as I was. It was a typical day of tourism: families laughing and arguing, little kids alternating between elated and cranky. Selfies galore. But mainly, just a time for people to bond with each other and with their country, a day to increase pride in one's homeland.
The three spots I hit that day were the Grotto (an amazing cave full of stalagtites where cameras are forbidden), Jounieh (site of a very scenic gondola ride up to a food court complete with Burger King, and eventually up to an enormous Mother Mary) and Byblos, arguably one of the oldes civilizations in the world and the reported birthplace of the written word. It was was great day of people watching and is a day trip I would highly recommend to anyone feeling an inkling of Lebanese leaning curiosity.