In December 2008 I had the privilege to participate in a trip to Libya organized by Libya Travel & Tours. On our tour we covered mainly the Northern part of the country, i.e. Tripoli and the Mediterranean coast. The week turned out to be one of the most impressive travels I have ever been on. Everything was well-organised up front including our visas.
If I was to summarize the week in a few terms it would be:
– excellent, knowledgable, very professional and experienced guide, who was such fun to travel with
– stunning countryside and view points
– breathtaking historical sites
– interesting encounters with welcoming and sociable local people
– high standard hotels with friendly and cooperative staff
– great and varied food
– relaxed shopping with lots of temptations because of the big variety of beautiful handcrafted items
Personally I was so impressed by the amazing Greek, Roman and Byzantine heritage that you can find along the Mediterranean coast of Libya. In the middle of a beautiful and wild sea side landscape we were taken back thousands of years in time reading the names of students in the days of the ancient Greeks, engraved in the ruins of their gymnasiums, walking the impressive triumphal archways of the Roman emperors and getting a taste of Roman every day life by admiring mosaics and looking into the famous steam baths where you can still see the individual seats and imagine the Roman officials resting and maybe debating politics. In Libya you get to see an authenticity of ancient sites that you will hardly be able to find in densely populated European cities and landscapes.
The fun factor also were the local guides who showed us the sites with pride and presented a lot of good detailed knowledge. At the end of the week we were no longer surprised to find out that the guides often were the ones that had actually helped excavating the ancient sites and statues.
At the end my decision was that I had to come back and discover more of this mysterious country and its riches in people, nature and history. My compassion was with the Lybians during the recent times of war and I often thought of the family that had kindly invited us into their home. I am thrilled that now traveling in Libya is possible again and the Libyans are given a chance to present their beautiful country to visitors.
A big thank you to the organizing team of Libya Travel & Tours! I can only recommend traveling with them and wish them the very best for their new branch in Libya!