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         A pleasant 45-minute drive to the south along the seashore leads to Saida (Sidon in history) seat of the government of South Lebanon.

         Saida, which means "fishing", lies in the middle of an oasis of citrus orchards.  The scent of their blossoms announces the city long before one reaches it.

         Like most of the ancient Phoenician cities, Saida is built on a promontory faced by an island.  The major attraction is the Crusader Castle of the sea which is connected to the placid harbor with a short causeway.  On the left of the causeway is a resthouse and restaurant built in the traditional Arab style.  On the right are the picturesque vaulted soaks of the old city, and Khan El Frange, typical of the inns of the past century.  Just before reaching Saida, 1 Kilometer up the river al-Awwali, lie the ruins of Echmoun in a place known as Bustan el Sheikh.  Echmoun was the Phoenician god of healing.

         Another ancient site in the immediate environs of Saida is the Phoenician necropolis.  The road continues south from Saida to Tyre, at one time leading Phoenician city state.