The Cedars

the cedars with lens flare

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, but I’ve been somewhat busy. And lazy. Very lazy. Anyways, continuing the expedition from two weeks ago:

city on a mountain

After Trablus, we drove up into the mountains to visit the Cedars.

church in the mountains

church/cross in the distance

The area is mostly Christian, which can be seen through all the churches and crosses we saw while riding the bus. The two photos above are some of my favorites. Both were taken through the window of a bus hurtling up (and down) mountains on very narrow roads with no railings. The mountainous regions here are beautiful.

mountain

cedars

The forest we visited is one of the last surviving cedar groves of Lebanon, and it’s depressingly small. The Lebanese Cedars have been used by various civilizations for several millennia and are almost gone today. Carlos Slim, the Lebanese-Mexican gazillionaire is working on replanting some Cedar Groves in the mountains.

cedar

cedars

shaded cedars

I had some trouble with the white balance in the grove. I couldn’t manage to get the trees to look naturally colored in most shots without completely blowing out the sky.

brightly colored cedars

more cedars

old cedar?

A few of the cedars are hundreds of years old, maybe even near one thousand. This may be one of the oldest, or it may not. I don’t remember where the old one fit into my pictures.

cedars

fallen tree

cedar in the shade

There’s also a carved tree in the forest. This particular grove is known as the Cedars of God. Some Lebanese artist carved tons of forms of Jesus into the tree from many angles.

jesus tree

jesus on the cedar

Here’s a pretty good shot of one of the carved Jesuses.

vertical cedars

hills

One last shot of the cedars and a view of the hills from the edge of the forest.

Below is the view from our hotel balcony. That forest in the distance is the Cedars. It’s pretty small. Next time I’ll post some photos from the mountain hike.

view from balcony