Tripoli is a very interesting city: very large, very Arabic, and very well developed. The city and the rest of the country are interesting, mainly because so many cultures have occupied this area. Oea was the Roman name for the city, and the Phonecians were here before the Romans. The Ottoman Turks were here for over two hundred years, however eventually the Arabs took the place over once they ousted armies from those terrible Italians! King Idris was ushered in by the United Nations after WWII, and then 27 year old Mu'ammar Gaddafi seized power on September 1, 1969 without ever stepping foot in the country. By the way, "The Man" is not talked about in polite company by Libyans.
Today we travel to the ancient Roman city of Sabratha, about 80km west of Tripoli.
March 26, 2006 - Sunday - Leptis Magna - Today we travel to the ancient Roman city of Leptis Magna, just over 100km east of Tripoli.
It looks like Fatid will be our tour leader throughout our
stay in Libya, and again, we also have a member of the Tourist Police on board.
Part way to Leptis Magna we pass through a security check point, and papers are given to
the officials before we proceed.
There are lots of olive trees along the highways around Tripoli. Sheep are sometimes being grazed in the olive groves, and are always being watched by shepherds. I even spotted a sheep dog once!
This afternoon, I joined three of our group for a walk through the Souk (market) in the Medina (old city). This evening, there was a Tuareg cultural display across the street from the hotel, so after dinner a few of our group walk over to see the displays. The Tuarag women were very camera shy, so I put my camera away. Later in the evening there is Tuarag folkloric dancing and singing, and our little group end up being the guests of honour. Despite it being very dark, I take some movies with my Nikon 4500 and hope for the best.
March 27, 2006 - Monday - Tripoli to Benghazi - This morning Fatid takes us on a walking tour of the Medina, which included a tour of the Souk. I took several photos in the Souk today because it was less busy. I'm very cautious of avoiding taking photos of local people whose faces would be recognizable. The Tuarag women last night were shielding themselves from any cameras. I know Arabs do not like their photos to be taken, especially women.
We are told that Libya has about 40 years of oil supply left, and
coincidentally, they also have about 40 years of water supply left. Our
bottled water comes from the
- a water supply system that pipes water from deep in the Sahara to the coastal
cities in a huge network of aqueducts.
March 28-30 - Eclipse Camp, Sahara Desert
March 31, 2006 - Friday - After breakfast this morning we walk through Tripoli to the Jamahiriya Museum.
Next >>> Sabratha
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