Anyone who’s originally from Lebanon will have a “day3a” (or village in English) from where they are from. With many families, the biggest clue for which village they may be from is in their last names.
That’s why older Lebanese men (my dad included) can usually trace your entire family lineage and background (sometimes things you may not even know) from the moment you utter your last name.
Lebanese people also hold a very romantic, almost protective, approach when it comes to their “day3a”s. Your day3a is regarded as that place where you can reconnect with your roots and escape the hustle-and-bustle of daily life. For teenagers, going to the day3a if they’re living in Beirut can be just as painful as going to the dentist (“But there’s no WiFi mom!”), but they’ll come around as grown-ups.
For me, that attachment to a “day3a” (and the romantic notion behind it) hasn’t been as firm. My family is originally from Hadath, which if you know it, is no where near a village. A mini-city, yes. And serenity from the hustle-and-bustle? No way. You’ll be hustling-and-bustling just to get there with all the traffic.
If you’re like me, craving that place you can escape and reconnect with your Lebanese roots, then I found the spot for you – and it’s only a one-hour drive from Beirut:
Welcome to everyone’s temporary “day3a”… Welcome to Taanayel Ecolodge!
Located at the heart of the Bekaa valley, the traditional village of adobe-brick houses will take you back in time to a simpler time (although they do have a WiFi connection if needed). Just picture “The Simple Life”, but without the annoying Paris Hilton and without all the manual labor.It was our first time visiting an ecolodge – so we weren’t so sure what to expect. Would it resemble an amish-like village with no electricity? Or would it be more like a trendy hostel, made to look old and authentic (but really wasn’t)?
Well, nothing compares to when you’re actually there and when they say “authentic”, this place is as close as it gets!
Every little corner has been meticulously planned to resemble an old Lebanese village, from the one-of-a-kind wooden key that unlocks the gate of where guests stay to the live rooster in the yard (anyone need a wake-up call?). What’s even more charming about Taanayel Ecolodge is that it’s part of a larger self-contained village where locals come to buy fresh dairy products, meat or have a bite of their deliciously hand-made food.
Run by Arc en Ciel, Tannayel Ecolodge is a great spot for anyone with the explorer-spirit and a curiosity for truly experiencing “day3a” life – and doesn’t mind leaving a few of modern life’s luxuries behind. (It’s not as hard as you think)
To reserve a room at Taanayel Ecolodge, call 08-544881, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Room prices range between $10-$20 per person per night, for a room which fits around five people.
Give it a try and tell us how you enjoyed it!
Find other similar alternative accommodations across Lebanon via Dhiafee’s program here.