Libya,is a country located in North Africa.
Not too many countries in the world are as foreign and mysterious as the 1.7 million square kilometers of Libya. For more than 40 years the country was ruled by Muammar Gaddafi, who pretty much cut off the country to many would-be visitors.
In 2011, an uprising gave Libya a new start--and they country is now working on a new government. Hopefully one that'll let you come see some of the most amazing ancient sites imaginable.
To get here can be a long process, as there are no direct flights from the US, often having to connect in Europe (Germany, Austria, and England mostly) or Egypt, often both. You do need a visa before you arrive; and if you're a US citizen you must advise the US Embassy in the region that you're coming.
You just better bring cash with you, as this truly is a cash-only country where just a few hotels and restaurants take plastic.
You also need a Yellow Fever vaccination before you get here; and its recommended that you get a Tetanus and MMR booster, as well as being protected against Hepititis A & B and Typhoid.
With your health concerns out of the way, it's time to be off to see Leptis Magna. At least that's what it was called when the Roman Empire lorded over the area (before them it was the Phoenicians). Today it's near Khoms (about 80 miles from the capital city of Tripoli)--and has some of the best Ancient Roman ruins anywhere. The ARch of Septimius Severus (who was born here) is just stunning.
Cyrene, or Shahhat as its called today, could give it a run for the money with its Temple of Zeus. The area, a Greek colony that's been around since 630BC, is now a UNESCO site.
Getting to all of Libya's sites can be a bit of an issue. There are no trains in the country (but they're working on that), there's no public bus service, and if you're going to drive around you're gonna need a Desert Pass. Yes, you'll need one since 90-percent of the country is desert. In some places it doesn't rain for years--decades actually.
Found in the desert are places like the Atiq Mosque, the oldest of its kind in the Sahara; the rock paintings at Wadi Mathendous that are more than two millennia old.
After a day of sightseeing, don't think you'll relax at your hotel with a cold beer--sorry, alcohol is illegal in Libya (it is a mostly Muslim country). There's a whole culture that revolves around tea, the drink of choice. You won't find bars and nightclubs, but you will find plenty of coffee and tea houses.
They're a nice place to stop after shopping for gold, silver, spices, and Ghandames slippers--a bargain for your Dinars, the official currency of Libya.
Don't forget to work on some phrases in Arabic, as that's the official language spoken throughout the country. Maybe this way Libya won't seem so mysterious--it'll just be exotic and super wonderful.
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