Well, this is it! Tomorrow morning we leave for the airport at 6. We transferred from Byblos to Beirut via taxi this morning and checked into a different hotel; this time we're on the waterfront Corniche near the landmark lighthouse. Staying in Achrafiye was fine, but this is a better location, and they would have put us in this area to begin with if it hadn't been for my eager beaver need to check all our hotels on Trip Advisor. The tour company has bent over backwards to make us happy, so they switched our first Beirut hotel after I read some awful reviews. The hotel room has some peeling paint and other aesthetic oddities, but it was clean enough, and we cared more about location at this point anyway.
Walked around the AUB (American University of Beirut) campus a bit and then took a long walk down the Corniche, in some of the same part where we were last Tuesday, but today it feels a good 10 degrees cooler. We ate lunch at a waterfront cafe with a great view; we even caught a bit of spray as the waves crashed around us.
Now we are sitting under an umbrella at the Riviera Beach Club in two terry cloth-covered lounge chairs looking at the lighthouse, watching the waves beating against the rocks below and enjoying a perfect breeze. Great way to end the trip -- relaxing and reflecting on everything we've seen and done. We head to Nibal and Tony's for dinner at 7 and are looking forward to a home-cooked meal.
P.S. Just saw a girl prance by in heels and a floral bikini, which reminded me I must confess I am passing off my black sports bra and black underwear as a bikini. Figured there was no sense wasting time going back to the hotel to change. ;-)