BA
Topic Author
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jun 28, 2006 3:26 pm

I spent 5 weeks in Beirut, Lebanon to see family and just got back last week. The last week I was there, I went up with my cousin on the French-made Aerophile Aero30 tethered gas balloon located just north of the heart of the Beirut Central District (BCD). My camera's sensor has a piece of dust on it which is why a black dot appears on the left side of each photo.

The balloon itself is actually capable of rising up to 300 meters, but they only take it up 150 meters as this is the ideal height to enjoy the view of the city.

Supposidly it is the largest of its kind in the world. There are several cities in the world that use it as well More info can be found here:
http://www.aerophile.com/newsletter/...s/060105_liban/100105_Beyrouth.htm

The balloon, registered OD-RCI:


And now the views...

The Port of Beirut. The cruiseship you can see park is the Orient Queen, owned and operated by the Lebanese cruiseship company, Abou Merhi Cruises. It operates a one week long cruise once a week in the Mediterranean.


The highrises in the distance are in the Ashrafieh district of the city.


Martyr's Square, once the thriving center of the city before the war. All the war torn buildings were demolished which is why it is quite an open space now. Eventually it will be completely built up.


The large building with the red roof is the Grand Serail which houses the Prime Minister's and his cabinet's offices.


Looking down, you can see this development, the Souks of Beirut. The first phase will be completed next year and will become one of the top shopping destinations in the country.


The Beirut Marina area. Two high-rises can be clearly seen rising. The high-rise still rising with the crane attached is the Four Seasons Hotel which is scheduled to open next year. Behind it the highrise that is nearly complete with the crown on top is the Marina Tower residential development. The Beirut Tower residential development can be seen further back. This entire area will be lined with more than 7 highrise buildings in a few years:




This is an area that is being reclaimed from the sea. For now, it is just a pile of rubble.




In 2020, this pile of rubble will look like this. I only wish 2020 wasn't so far away!


After the balloon ride, me and my cousin wondered around downtown taking photos. Here's a selection.

This is probably my favorite street in Beirut, Foch Street. It is so beautifully decorated with flowers in the median:






The Martyr's Square statue that the square is named after with the new Mohammad Al Amin mosque in the background:




The building on the left is the Virgin Megastore. My cousin and I went in as he was looking for a particular George Benson DVD which unfortunately he did not find.


Nejmeh Square with the famous clock tower (currently under renovation). A Starbucks can be seen on the left, more proof that they've invaded the world.  Wink At night, the square is so crowded and it is difficult to find a sea in the cafes.


Here's a photo I took a few years ago at night so you can see what I mean:


The Beirut Municipality, one my favorite buildings:


Busy Weygand street:










These weren't taken by me, but I thought it was worth showing what Beirut looks like from the air:






Look out for a trip report in the Trip Reports forum within a week!

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
DTManiac
Posts: 677
Joined: Fri Aug 27, 2004 3:17 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jun 28, 2006 4:38 pm

Wow, that looks just awesome. The streets look clean, most of the buildings nicely in shape. Must be a great place to be. However, it looks bigger than expected to me. Can anyone help? How many inhabitants does the city have?

Frederik
Gig 'em Aggies!!!
 
Shawn Patrick
Posts: 2465
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2000 7:30 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:42 am

Amazing pictures, what a view of the city! I can't wait until I can visit Lubnan.

Shawn
 
NoUFO
Posts: 7397
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2001 7:40 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:01 am

Another city on my short-list.
I support the right to arm bears
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 3:57 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:04 am

Awesome pictures! Thanks a lot for posting!

Quoting DTManiac (Reply 1):
The streets look clean, most of the buildings nicely in shape.

I agree absolutely, the streets are incredible clean and some look very nice with the flower decoration. The same for the buildings, they are perfectly in shape and look really nice.

Hmmm..... I want to go on a short holiday after the World Cup, why not flying to BEY?

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:55 am

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
Martyr's Square, once the thriving center of the city before the war. All the war torn buildings were demolished which is why it is quite an open space now.

A most loveable square back in 1975, rather sad to see, in 2004, that it had totally disappeared, whenever the best solution

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
Foch Street. It is so beautifully decorated with flowers in the median

the city-centre of Beirut now looks far better than before 75

Quoting BA (Thread starter):
Here's a photo I took a few years ago at night so you can see what I mean:

that square is one of the nicest to be imagined
 
QFA380
Posts: 2013
Joined: Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:38 pm

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:08 am

WOW, Beirut looks amazing, looks like one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Must visit it some day.

Thanks and looking forward to the TR.
 
BA
Topic Author
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Thu Jun 29, 2006 2:48 pm

Quoting DTManiac (Reply 1):
How many inhabitants does the city have?

The city proper has approximately 1.2 million while the urban area (city proper + surrounding areas) has around 2 million, a little more than half the country's population.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 5):
A most loveable square back in 1975, rather sad to see, in 2004, that it had totally disappeared, whenever the best solution

Yes, unfortunately the old Martyr's Square is gone forever. In 5-10 years, a new Martyr's Square will be fully developed. Several projects around the square are commencing including the Beirut Gate and Phoenician Village projects.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
FOMEA
Posts: 838
Joined: Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:10 pm

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Fri Jun 30, 2006 8:57 pm

Nice pics BA.
Foch Street Sure looks Nice. The city-centre looks Nice in General.

How many people can fit in that balloon per Ride?



Regards
F-OMEA.
On the internet you can be anything you want..its strange so many choose to be Stupid.
 
BA
Topic Author
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Sat Jul 01, 2006 2:54 am

Quoting FOMEA (Reply 8):
How many people can fit in that balloon per Ride?

It depends on the weather conditions. I can carry a maximum I think of 40 people, but that is only in ideal weather conditions.

Wind and temperature are the two main factors that affect how much it can carry.

If it is too windy, they don't go up at all.
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 5:40 pm

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:23 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
Hmmm..... I want to go on a short holiday after the World Cup, why not flying to BEY?

I am sure Lufthansa will be happy to have you  Silly

Great pictures BA, it reaffirms my desire to visit Beirut
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
BA
Topic Author
Posts: 10133
Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:58 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 10):
I am sure Lufthansa will be happy to have you

Patrick on Lufthansa?!?! Big grin
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
MEA310
Posts: 633
Joined: Wed Feb 06, 2002 8:52 pm

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 05, 2006 7:06 pm

Great photos.

I went up in the balloon when it was still located next to Phoenicia Intercontinental hotel, you could actually see BEY's runways 16 & 17. Your pics are further improved with the nice weather, seems it was a crystal clear day, fantastic.

MEA310
M5 Fastest Sedan On Earth
 
raffik
Posts: 1530
Joined: Tue Feb 28, 2006 9:50 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:05 pm

I am in Beirut next week- how do I get access to this balloon?! Looks fantastic!
- Alec
 
rolfen
Posts: 1539
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:03 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:54 pm

Quoting DTManiac (Reply 1):
Wow, that looks just awesome. The streets look clean, most of the buildings nicely in shape. Must be a great place to be. However, it looks bigger than expected to me. Can anyone help? How many inhabitants does the city have?

Roughly 2 millions
That area is probably less then 1/4 of the city, the rest is not that gorgeous  Smile a bit of an hypocritical city (the nice word for that is "contrasted" city)

Quoting Raffik (Reply 13):
I am in Beirut next week- how do I get access to this balloon?! Looks fantastic!

Follow the big ball in the sky  Wink
No seriously it's near Starco, St Joseph Hotel / marina , Phoenicia intercontinental, not very far from Raoucheh
rolf
 
VHVXB
Posts: 5309
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2006 7:54 pm

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Mon Jul 17, 2006 5:24 pm

WOW. BA those are some amazing pics there. I heard Beirut was lovely city but it is more than that after looking at those pictures. With a mix of Nice historical and new buildings it truly is a good site. Thank for sharing those pics BA

[Edited 2006-07-17 10:25:11]
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:26 pm

The Israelis are really destroying something of beauty.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
Posts: 1442
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:47 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:01 am

Wow. Great pictures. Unbelievable to think that you were posting these only a couple of weeks ago, to where we are now.
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
clipperhawaii
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 3:35 pm

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 19, 2006 12:17 pm

I wonder how the balloon operators feel now that they realize that some of their best customers over the last few weeks were Israeli agents?  Cool  camera 

Of course we have no way of knowing that but what a thought just the same.

On a serious note, what a beautiful city they had.
"You Can't Beat The Experience"
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8101
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:20 pm

Quoting Clipperhawaii (Reply 18):
On a serious note, what a beautiful city they had.

Crocodile tears at best. You make it sound like it was destroyed by a natural disaster, rather than American weaponery and American taxpayers' money.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:26 pm

Quoting Clipperhawaii (Reply 18):
On a serious note, what a beautiful city they had.

they still have it. Dented in a few parts, but it will be repaired fairly quickly. So that your deceitful and malicious "had" is inappropriate.
-
Israeli agents in fact could do everything in Beirut before, as it is an open country. And agents anyway also can see what they want in the most restrictive countries on earth, as restrictions only hit normal people.
 
rolfen
Posts: 1539
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 6:03 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Mete

Wed Jul 19, 2006 9:07 pm

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 20):
they still have it. Dented in a few parts, but it will be repaired fairly quickly. So that your deceitful and malicious "had" is inappropriate.

Israel can now pretty much hit anything it pleases and pretend that it "was a mistake" or that some truck convoy for the Hezbollah was passing there.
Hell did you know that they even hit a UN shelter in 1997, killing 100 refugees, and said that it was a mistake?

So I'm worried that one day, in their attempts to curb the Lebanese government into submission, they might bomb that shiny brand new downtown.

What a cruel world we live in.
rolf
 
ME AVN FAN
Posts: 12970
Joined: Fri May 31, 2002 12:05 am

RE: Beirut From A Tethered Gas Balloon At 150 Meters

Wed Jul 19, 2006 10:24 pm

Quoting Rolfen (Reply 21):
they even hit a UN shelter in 1997, killing 100 refugees, and said that it was a mistake?

yes, that was widely reported. Suppose the only secure point is the US embassy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider], flipdewaf and 29 guests