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Panoramic Views > Bekaa > Baalbeck > Oyoun Orghosh

Oyoun Orghosh – The Springs of Orghosh

Oyoun Orghosh is a name in plural form given to a high mountain region with an abundance of springs of water on the Eastern face of Cornet es-Sawda, the highest mountain of Lebanon that dominates the Beqaa Valley.

Taken as a whole, the landscape is somewhat bare of vegetation, relieved only by a few scattered trees, either junipers or Mediterranean oaks, and without the usual cultivated terraces that climb most Lebanese mountain slopes however steep. There are only a few patches of plough land, for the area was never easy to reach in the past. Now it can be reached by going up from the famous Cedar Forest and then from the Col by going northwards along the ridge named Dar el-Qadeeb, whose sides remain under snow till the end of June. One arrives then at the Orghosh Springs, Oyoun Orghosh, with its very pleasant hollows holding water. Around these small lakes one may go for pleasant walks in summer and relax in the cafés where people from the nearest villages have placed chairs and put up sunshades, and provide refreshments and meals for the visitors who are now becoming yearly more numerous during the three short summer months. These are drawn by the magnificent view they can enjoy from this vantage point of the Beqaa Valley and of the opposing range of the Anti-Lebanon, with the nearby stretches of water reflecting the sky seen at this height to be of deep azure blue.

One remains spellbound by the beauty of the spectacle. Here we have a an oasis, a watered Eden with six or seven wide stretches of water surrounded by trees, footpaths and benches, with everything required for the convenience of holidaymakers, sightseers and pilgrims. Here it is a delight to sit under the shade of the trees close to the water; the sun may be scorching but the air is fresh during the day and cold at night, as is typical of a mountain climate. What is more, here one may often meet shepherds with their flocks of sheep and goats brought to slake their thirst from the plentiful water. Looking further afield, one may see here and there to the East points of the edge of the great Fertile Crescent which stretches in an arc around the broad desert of the Syrian plateau.

Anyone ready to make the climb up the mountain westward will find himself on the summit of Cornet es-Sawda, the highest point in Lebanon. Oyoun Orghosh is lower down at an altitude of about 8.000 feet; it is neither village nor even hamlet, just a few little houses and restaurants, and a place to visit where one can relax, breathe fresh air, find welcome repose, and admire the splendors of Nature.

The place is some eighty miles from Beirut, forty from Zahleh and ten from Ainata. It is accessible not only from the Cedars and Saydat en-Najat but also from Baalbek through Al-Qaa and Ainata or from Wadi Faara. One will most probably pass sheltered hollows where snow lies on the ground. Brilliant exotic flowers may be seen when one turns one’s eyes from the broad panorama. An outing there is well and truly worthwhile.

William MATAR

- Oyoun Orghosh: >> View Movie << (2014-06-01)



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