So, last weekend my favorite person in the entire world, Michella, celebrated her 26th birthday by inviting all of us to go camping in Lebanon’s Shouf region.

Shouf is a mountainous area featuring some of the best views Lebanon affords as well as the expansive Shouf Biosphere Reserve. The reserve is actually Lebanon’s largest but though it’s a cedar forest, it’s not to be confused with The Cedars of God reserve located in the north of Lebanon. While the Shouf reserve is an amazing place to hike and features beautiful cedars, the “Cedars of God” are much older and are the cedars everyone associates with the country.

However, all that aside, this weekend escape was possibly one of the best weekends of the year for me. It was just so relaxing to escape the city and immerse ourselves in nature for a bit. Although I used to camp often in the United States and although we go on road trips to different nature destinations throughout Lebanon on a very regular basis, I haven’t actually camped overnight since moving here nearly four years ago.

And we stayed at an amazing campsite, right outside of the Shouf reserve. The Cedars Ground Campsite describes itself as “a majestic eco-friendly campsite, adjacent to the Shouf reserve, offering a meditative and relaxing outdoor experience for happy campers.” I can assure you that it definitely lives up to that description. From the incredible location to the absolutely delicious breakfast the staff prepared for us in the morning, we were definitely impressed and will plan on going again soon.

We arrived just before sunset on Saturday evening and enjoyed lounging around the fire eating and drinking until the early morning.

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After a few hours of sleep, we woke up and ate a delicious breakfast at the campsite.

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We even made a few animal friends.

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Following the filling breakfast, we hiked up the mountain through the cedar and pine forests.

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It was a hot day, but some of us even made it to the top.

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And we were rewarded with this incredible view of the Bekaa Valley.

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Thanks for having a birthday Michella and thanks for giving us all this incredible experience!

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