Bethania

Bethania 03

While working here in Lebanon, we are staying north of Beirut in the village of Harissa.  Our hotel is called Bethania, a mountain retreat center next to a statue and sanctuary dedicated to the Virgin Mary. 

Bethania 02The hotel is a modern building that most often houses pilgrims who come here on spiritual retreats.  It sits behind the cathedral (pictured at right) and the sizable statue on a four-story base that you can climb to just below the figure of Mary. 

Bethania 05In a few adjacent nooks, people had lit candles below images of the Virgin in the windows overlooking the sea. 

 A teleferique brings visitors up the mountain to the base of the statue.  From my balcony, I have a great view of the Mediterranean Sea and the coast. 

For those of you who follow the news, you’ll know that there was a bomb blast that killed some people today in a Beirut suburb.  I can report that Carolyn and I are safely ensconced in our mountain retreat and, since we seem to be the only guests in the hotel,  we’re enjoying the peace and quiet of the evening. 

Bethania 01

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