Lebanon: Cedars of God Reserve

High in the mountains of northern Lebanon stand the last remaining strands of the Lebanese cedar trees, at an elevation of over 2000m/6600ft. The cedar is the national symbol of the country and is featured prominently on the Lebanon flag . The Lebanese cedars have been mentioned and praised throughout the human history of the last 5000 years – Phoenicians, Egyptians, Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Arabs, and Turks – all used cedar trees. The success of the Phoenicians in shipbuilding was largely due to cedars, Egyptians used the cedar sap in mummification, Limg Solomon used cedar wood for the Temple, and the Lebanese cedar is mentioned in the Bible a whopping 105 times! Once upon a time, the cedar forests covered most of the mountain slopes in Lebanon, but now only small plots of trees remain and are vigorously protected here at the Cedars of God reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s an absolutely incredible experience to walk among the giant trees, touch them and their strange-looking cones and look at the surrounding mountainous landscapes. And it’s freaking cold in here!