A view from the back of the Saint Charbel Church.
Youssef Antoun Makhlouf joined the Lebanese Maronite Order in 1851 and by becoming a monk he took the name Charbel, after a Christian Martyr in Antioch from the 2nd century. The church is a site for pilgrims from Christian and Muslim faiths in Lebanon.
As you walk around the back of the Church you get some spectacular views of the mountainous terrain Lebanon is famous for. Great place to take a few minutes to reflect on the history of the place.
On my way to Turkestan, Kazakhstan and got held up! Not your usual traffic jam!
In this video you’ll get a close up of the new oil rig that has just been planted in the Aral Sea. From one environmental disaster to another? Share the post with someone who might be interested! Thank you!
I had seen the classic images of ships lying moored in the Aral Sea and decided a visit to the Aral Sea would perhaps provide a productive photographic opportunity. It wasn’t until I got there, that I learned of the true magnitude of the disaster. When you stand at the port and look at the sheer drop and then into a vast desolate landscape where the sea once was, do you understand what has happened here? Driving into the super bowl is in itself a challenge- the seabed acts like quick sand, and you are limited to how far you can move determined by the tracks before you. As you step out into the bitter cold of the morning, you find the floor littered with sea shells. The Aral Sea is perhaps one of the largest and most visible environmental disasters of the last century. The Aral Sea was a vibrant place which was home to a diverse ecological system. It also provided an extensive fisheries industry for the countries surrounding it. It was not until the Soviets decided to grow cotton that led to the sea disappearing almost completely. As of two weeks before my arrival, the government had the iconic ships removed. I was disappointed not to have an opportunity to see it first hand however in the distance I noticed something new rising from the sands which may or may not beat to the new metronome of our time, oil. See if you can spot it!
Travelling to the Aral Sea can be a long journey. Here are my tips on how to have a safe and comfortable journey along the way!