A Village in the Mountains
In those golden days, nearly 50 years ago, it was easy to see why Bertram Thomas had chosen to put MECAS in Shemlan. The village snuggled tight and low to the steep slope of the mountain on the first crest as you climbed eastward from the coast. You reached it from the main Beirut-Damascus road by turning south at Aley, about 2000 feet up, and following a by-road for five miles along a narrow shelf to Suq el-Gharb and then a further mile to Shemlan itself. Alternatively, and more agreeably, you followed the coast south from Beirut and after a few miles turned left up a narrow country road, full of elbow-bends and lined with olive terraces, through the villages of Shweyfat and Ain Anoub till you came out at Aitat and, next to it, Shemlan.
KeywordsEurope Steam Diesel Paraffin Smoke
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