how to have a rather perfect day

 

When in Beirut, do as the Beirutis do and get out of town for some beach times. A forty-five minute bus ride will deposit you at the gate of Edde Sands Beach Club. Shuffle down the winding driveway, taking care to dodge the shiny, speeding 4WDs driven by maniacal valets, and arrive at reception trying to look confident – you’re punching well above your weight here. A few minutes later, you’ll be reclining on a sun lounge and calling for the waitstaff to bring you a beer and a club sandwich. If you’re Australian, be prepared to be the only person on the beach not reeking of coconut oil and resembling a rotisserie chicken.

When you’ve had enough of doing very little, shuffle back up the driveway and into the nearby town of Byblos. Survey the tourist tat in the cobblestoned, vine-shaded laneways before making your way to the picturesque harbour for sunset; you might see a frou-frou bride nervously awaiting her entrance to the tiny stone church perched above the water. Inhale and salivate over the smell of other people’s barbeques. If you’re not already skint from paying the extrance fee to the beach club, you can linger for a seafood dinner; if you’re us, you can head back to the highway, flag a bus and snooze all the way back to Beirut.

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