“Jeita Grotto was discovered in 1836 by an American missionary. Drop by drop of water molds a stalactite on the ceiling and floor of the galleries and halls. Jeita Grotto is characterized by its unique dazzling beauty and the most varied shapes, sizes, and colored stones.” (From the entrance pamphlet)
We arrived and rode on a gondola up the mountain to the upper part of the grotto. We walked on foot through the upper grotto. I was amazed by the height of the stones. The beauty was truly breathtaking. Also there were several times where I was very dizzy looking down at the steep drops in a dimly lit cave with a wet floor and small path! After walking through the upper grotto we stopped at a gift shop which had some of the best deals in all of Lebanon. I kid you not! I picked up two sets of worry beads, several postcards (since photography was not allowed in the caves) and a eye of Fatima bracelet for $9. We proceeded on the tour on a mini train to the lower part of the grotto. At this point we went in a boat for a tour of the caves by water. This was incredible! I would highly recommend Jeita Grotto for any traveler to Lebanon.
After the grotto, we stopped for lunch and then proceeded full speed ahead to Byblos. We met up with our tour guide in Byblos and he was HILARIOUS! His name was Yazid and he gave us a great history of the area, as well as a full supply of laughs. We walked around the ruins and he showed us the spot where his grandfather’s house used to be, right above the ruins. The highlight of the tour was climbing into a tomb of an Ancient Egyptian sarcophagus. After admiring the history, we did some more shopping. I got a hand of Fatima to hang on the wall. They are symbols of good luck and we’ve seen them at all the gift shops. We stopped for some drinks before dinner which was nice because it was super hot. Then we ate a delicious meal at Pepe Abed. If you are ever in Byblos, you must go to this restaurant! It has so much history, it even has it’s own museum. We had delicious food including calamari and fish (with the heads still on!).