Tuesday June 10 at 9.30pm:
Jeremy Wells explores Tripoli's ancient medina, dines in traditional Berber settlements, journeys through the Jebel Nafusa highlands, and rides an angry camel.
He drives to the desert border of Algeria to show Ahmed Zaoui a glimpse of his homeland, wanders the ruins of Leptis Magna, and views the impressive theatre of Sabratha while embracing the Arab custom of 'hand-holding' between men.
Jeremy's thoughts on Libya:
"Libya is the most peculiar country I've ever visited. It has
been conquered at one time or another by Berbers, Greeks, Romans,
Byzantines, Muslims, Italians and Bedouins. It is currently
being run as a Socialist People's Jamahiriya led by Colonel Muammar
al Ghaddafi. I guess that is dictator-speak for Military
Dictatorship. Certainly it feels like Ghaddafi looms large over
Libya. Everywhere I went he went too, usually in the form of giant
billboards portraying him wearing aviator sunglasses, a smallish
hat and looking conqueringly over a map of Africa. He must be nice
because nobody seems to have a bad word to say about him. Even
though Libya has opened itself up to tourism since the sanctions
were lifted a few years ago, the government is still slightly
paranoid about western influence. There is no room for alcohol,
multi-national companies like McDonald's, or Speedos."
Jeremy's pre-trip itinerary:
Day 1 Tripoli
Lying on the edge of desert, by the shores of the sparkling Mediterranean, is Tripoli. Wander through the medina and soak up the old-world charm amongst the colourful souqs, the arch of Marcus Aurelius and dozens of mosques.
Day 2 Gharyan
Escape to the Jebel Nafusa highlands and Gharyan. Explore the unique Berber troglodyte dwellings, built to provide an escape from the harsh summer days and cold winter nights.
Days 3-4 Ghadames
Travel through the abandoned mountain village of Tarmeisa and past the fortified Berber grain castle of Kabaw to the enchanting oasis city of Ghadames. The World Heritage-listed medina beckons to be explored. We take a camel ride out into the Sahara and camp for the night.
Day 5 Yefren
Journey to the far western edge of Jebel Nafusa and Nalut, where we stop at the Qasr al-Haj to see Libya's finest example of Berber architecture.
Day 6 Leptis Magna/Al-Khoms
See how the elite once lived at the mosaic-covered Villa Sileen. Explore one of the most impressive Roman cities on the Mediterranean, Leptis Magna, a definite highlight of any trip to Libya.
Day 7 Sabratha/Janzur
We drive along the Mediterranean coast to the spectacular World Heritage-listed site of Sabratha. Don't miss the impressive theatre, which still provides a dramatic backdrop to modern shows. In the evening, relax in beachside Janzur.
Days 8-9 Tripoli
Return full circle to Tripoli where there is time for some last minute shopping, a visit to the Jamahiriya Museum or walk around the Red Castle, which dominates the city skyline.
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