One of the most amazing roads in Lebanon , is the mountainous road between Hermel and Dennieh. This road is on of my favorite road in Lebanon, its a shortcut through the mountain that is closed during winter time.
The limestone-studded cliffs are dotted with the nation’s iconic cedars, nestled alongside hundreds of its hardiest trees, the majestic JUNIPERS.
The entrance to the reserve high above Dinnieh and Hermel is a marker of Lebanon’s history. The jagged road, if you could call it that, is known locally as the English Way.
Amazingly, this mountainous road is on of the most maintained roads in Lebanon with Juniperus trees all over the place.
Juniper tree is a unique endogenous tree of the Lebanon, and have a nature’s secret since they do not grow in the soil haphazardly.”Fruit-eating birds like to feed on the black juniper berries, due to their spicy taste and smell of incense. After being ingested, the digestive system of the bird (the giblets) begin to secrete enzymes that break up the insulation that prevents the seed from growing.”
“Then they pass the seeds in their droppings into the soil. The soil and degree of moisture have to be right and it takes a long time (18 months) to achieve reproduction,”
Some Juniper trees are centuries old, seemingly growing out of solid rock, and add an aura of quiet grit and determination to the solitude of the mountain.
The tree’s hardiness is evident throughout its history. During late Tertiary and early Quaternary periods, as ice sheets smothered northern Europe, an ancestor of the modern juniper began a long migration south into warmer climates. Juniperus Excelsa settled in the eastern Mediterranean, while its cousins established colonies in areas as diverse as Morocco, Spain, southern France, the Arabian Peninsula and East Africa.
Up there the trees are very big and very old and are in very hard environmental conditions.
The survival of Juniper tree is a sign of the health of Lebanon’s wilderness, for the birth of a new tree is an intricate dance of nature.
According to the Book of First Kings (1 Kings 10:12), and the Second Book of Chronicles (II Chronicles 2:8; 9:10-11), Juniper wood was used, together with cedar and pine, in the construction of Solomon’s Temple including the crafting of musical instruments for use in the Temple.