8:42 AM local time. I don’t have Wi-Fi situated very well yet, so updates may be few and far between at first. Managed to dash off a text to the family while on the airport’s wi-fi. I had expected immediate access at our hotel, but that has not occurred as planned, so hopefully someone disseminated the information to all y’all.
Landed in Beirut last night at 8:30 PM local time (1:30 EDT). I don’t intend make this a running advertisement for Turkish Airlines, but wow, were our flights nice! Flight 1 left Dulles at 11:30 PM and landed about 10 hours later. Two full meals of excellent food (salmon, cheesecake, mashed potatoes, stewed tomatoes and eggplant; a full breakfast of scrambled eggs, fruit, cheese). Excellent Turkish wine. Our 1.5 hour layover in Istanbul involved mostly walking and finding our terminal. Another 1.5 hour flight, where they fed us *again* (cheese/tomato/cucumber sandwich, salad, cherry pound cake), and we landed in Beirut.
We were met at the airport by Melkar El-Khoury, a representative from the Lebanon Renaissance Foundation, our co-sponsor, who had arranged transportation to our hotel, the Hotel Alexandre.
All-in-all, I’m fine. We have orientation and a tour of the city today. I’m not terribly jet-lagged (landing when we did, I was able to immediately go to sleep and sleep 8 hours), but I am still pretty tired. I am very much looking forward to a pot of Turkish coffee this morning!