#MYCITY: LOCALS INTRODUCE THEIR CITY.
MAXX Awada, an unconventional IT Engineer.
Please introduce yourself:
My real name doesn’t relate to me in any way; the reason why is, that Maxx is an unusual name for a Lebanese. I was a moderator for CouchSurfing.org for four years in Doha, Qatar. I moved back to Lebanon in May of 2014, simply because I don’t think I would ever prefer to live anywhere else.
Tyre in English or Sour (Sur) as pronounced in Arabic صور
My favorite place to eat in Tyre:
A Foul & Hummos place in the old Souq called Al Mazra’ani. Go there at 5pm, any day except Friday. This small shop in the old souq is more than 30-40 years old and still makes the same traditional dishes, delicious.
A typical dish of Tyre:
My city is famous for having very good and fresh fish every day at the Pear. You can easily find affordable places to have fish in restaurants or in the Tent-Restaurants (Khiyam) built at the seashore every summer.
My favorite bar in Tyre:
I don’t frequent bars anymore but Travolino in Christian part of the old city has a nice vibe.
What about the Nightlife in Tyre?
Sour is a calm city. People here organise frequently events on weekends, especially in summer. There are small events like beach parties and some special events in the holiday season. Nothing major. On the other hand, organizing your own beach party is both affordable and feasible, and it’s more often like that. People gather in groups and plan something out.
Things to do for free in Tyre:
Sour is famous for its beaches. One rocky beach for snorkeling and diving where you can explore the old city buried underneath the sea, and another beautiful beach with soft sand for enjoying a cool book or simply getting a nice tan.
Romanian ruins at two significant sites of the city would actually impress you. They make up Sur’s main characteristic architecture features.
You can walk the entire city on foot which takes less than one hour. A Cornish surrounds the entire city along the beach, go there in the morning for coffee, and at night for a beautiful Sunset.
Sheesha cafe’s are popular and many of them have beautiful views of the beach especially the ones at the cornish. Restaurants might be a bit pricy.
Keep away of:
Keep…away…from…!!! Sour is a pretty safe place. I would only say don’t do here something you wouldn’t do back home.
Best way to move around in Tyre:
A taxi, called Service (pronounced in French) as servees.
A normal taxi costs around 10$. The same car, if you tell him service, takes you and anyone else he finds along the way dropping you at your destination, and the other passengers at theirs, but charges you only 2$.
The best way to get to Sur from Beirut is from Cola Parking or Jordanian Embassy roundabout. A Van to Sour costs 3$ and it’s a 1 hour trip when the driver takes the highway. Make sure you mention highway, in French autostrad. Otherwise, they will take the old road, stopping for anyone they find on the way which takes close to 2 hrs and could be uncomfortable. So remember, say Sur, Autostrad.
Best place for first date in Tyre:
Nothing beats The Beach at Sunset.
On a personal top, my rooftop beats that. We’re in the building facing the roman ruins. From the rooftop you can have a view of the ruins, the beach on the right side of the city and the beach on the left side of the city. Overlooking the mountains at the horizon, makes the spot amazingly secluded and special.
Best place to meet locals in Tyre:
Old Souq and simply just on the street.
Best place to relax in Tyre:
On the beach.
Best spot to watch people in Tyre:
At the Corniche.
Five hot tips for enjoying Tyre:
1. Visit the sites and make sure you walk around to see everything.
2. Make sure you know locals, they will save you lots of money and time and will make the experience a lot better. People in Tyre are generally welcoming.
3. Try traditional food like foul, hummos and Mankoushe Al Saj from one of the small bakeries.
4. Come in spring or summer. In winter the city pretty much hibernates.
5. Since you’re already in the South of Lebanon, make your way to the beautiful villages and breathtaking coast line. Go further south, it’s just as safe with a different scenery.
One thing you would like to change about Tyre?
Less people at the beach when it’s super good to swim in the sea and cleanliness.. I personally like it to be spotless.