1000-year old churches in Aabeidat

Boundless Summer

The historic caves of Habis were used as a hideout back in Roman and Byzantine eras.

Back then, reaching the caves was a difficult feat. But once inside, it's possible to reach any cave through interconnecting tunnels

Now, the caves are a pleasant place to sit and enjoy a sunny day in the shade.

A spectacular landscape framed by the caves overlooks  Wadi el Habis, Bekaa valley, and Anti Lebanon mountains.

Sleeping bats were dispersed inside one of the caves.

Spring flowers were all around, and some still didn't open their petals, like the one below.

We climbed through the rocks and reached the top of the valley.

Climbing to the top is a fun challenge, and it's easy to walk along the crest.

The peaks offered even wider angles on the landscape.

With such a dense landscape, I like to spot fields in the distance using my zoom lens.

I look forward to safely exploring more caves in the area next time!

The lush valley between Aabeidat  & Saqiyat el Khayt is rich with very old and abandoned churches

On our hike downwards, we passed through interesting rock formations, a nice introduction to the old cave churches.

Towards the bottom of the valley, we found a small hole that barely fits a human.

This hole leads to Mar Antonios, a 500 year old church

What seemed tiny from the outside turned out to be a multi-room and 2-level structure.

Going from one room to the other required careful attention for each step

I wonder what it was like for visitors to spend time in this church, nested inside a beautiful valley.

We then continued further down to reach a dry riverbed.

The very bottom led to a panoramic view, with the church secretly reigning.

There's actually several other churches, which are dated 1000 years old. They're supposedly easier to find than Mar Antonios, but we never managed to find them.

The hike back up was quite hard, especially since we eventually wandered off trail and had to find an alternative way to reach the top.

By then it was getting late in the day, and the plants started showing off their golden colors.

I took my shirt off to ease the sweat away, and in the meantime Jad took this shot which I love.

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