Writtern by Rania Duwaihi
Translated By Rana Al-Hajj
NNA - Bnachii Lake is a breathtaking tourist attraction that distinguishes the entire northern Lebanese region.
In the past, Bnachii region was just land covered with olive trees and grapevines. Some slopes seemed like small valleys topped with wild trees that carried blackberries and peaches, but this only lasted until it was turned into an artificial lake.
"Marada" Movement Leader, MP Sleiman Franjieh, a politician who's passionate about environmental affairs, is the mastermind of Bnachii project. Not only had he managed to convert the region into a tourist destination, but also rendered it of double benefit by transforming it into a huge water tank that irrigates the entire land and surrounding greenery.
Bnachii lake project was actively implemented in mid 90's. Upon its completion, the entire region donned a new attire of luster and beauty, a thing which encouraged the owners of restaurants and amusement shops to offer tourists an array of activities upon the lake's magnificent banks.
Bnachii attained great fame in light of the technical, social, and recreational activities. Words are not enough to portray the splendor of Bnachii's picturesque landscape and the nature that adorns this place.
This distinctive tourist attraction can be reached via Tripoli - Zgharta - Ehden or via Koura Highway. It is located amid slopes filled with lush and trees, which are decreasing in number as construction and tourism projects increase.
It is worth drawing attention to the fact that the shops and restaurants are located within the scope of Arges and Bnachii municipalities. In a quick view, the long flower-ornamented corniche makes the perfect place for visitors wishing to take a walk, jog, or even rest on its cement seats. One can also enjoy the non-stop small boat rides that provide trips across the entire region of Bnachii Lake.
The amusement parks which are located in close proximity to restaurants are regarded as the best place for kids' entertainment and birthday parties. There's also a very old horse wagon for those who wish to take a short promenade down the road adjacent to the corniche.
Those who visit Bnachii lake must drop by the "Museum of stuffed animals" which includes more than 3,000 species of marine and wild animals such as fish, shellfish, birds of all kinds, insects, butterflies, frogs, snakes, deer, wild cats, predators, bears -- including polar bears -- foxes of different kinds, wolves and zebras.
The owner of this museum, Mr. Charbel Maroun, said "this museum has become a very important tourist destination that's unparalleled in the entire Arab world. We are currently working on listing this museum as one of the major tourist attractions in Lebanon."
He also added that there was a new project by the lake that would soon open its doors under the name of "Jupiter". He said it was customized for weddings and would be built in a Roman-style and an ancient artistic way that resembles the historical columns in Baalbek.
"This place would resonate widely and play an important role in our region, especially Lebanon."
In a tour among the owners of Bnachii restaurants and cafes, we asked them about the development of tourism this summer. It was unanimously agreed that "in spite of the security and economic situation that Lebanon endures, it is good and acceptable."