Free at last - and stocked in Tripoli

Tripoli Travel Blog

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The old royal palace - now library - with guards outside to take car of The Son

I guess it is time to try something new this morning - so what about breakfast at the hotel with other people from the tour group? Ok I guess this not really new but it will be the last time it is gonna be breakfast with this group given it is the last day of the trip.


Well after breakfast I start to wonder in towards the old town - but I make a short detour instead of taking the direct route from the hotel. On a map I have seen a spot marked down as the old royal palace. That sounds like a place to go - hence I try to make my way there. I find the spot - or at least I think I have found the spot. Then I walk up to one door at the side of the building and take a look inside just to be told that I can not go in there - ok I go around the building to the front of it.

Building across from the old cathedral


At the front of the building I meet a couple of men sitting in front of the building - like always there will be somebody sitting in front of the building seemingly without doing anything. I go towards the door and one of the men stands up and greets me - and he starts telling me about the place. It is the university library and he shows me their collection of old magazines from decades ago with important stories of the Libyan history. He shows me a bit around the library telling different things about the place. He tells the story of the building - it is originally build as the house of the Italian governor of Libya and then after independence the Libyan king used it a palace. Hence the library was indeed the royal palace I went looking for.

The old cathedral - now mosque
He apologise for not being able to take me out back to see the pool and stuff out there - but The Leaders son is working out back and they got all sorts of security things going on because of this - including some guards out in front of the library.


I walk out of the library and take a photo of the building from outside - but I am a bit close to the building and can't get the picture just as I want it. Hence I walk further back and try to get another photo - but now the guards looking out for the son of The Leader have seen me - and they shout no photo. Well I don't feel any desperate need to challenge their decision so I just put my camera away and walk towards the old town. The town is coming to life this morning and wheelbarrows are push around with all sorts of different stuff to be sold somewhere in the market.

Moving goods around in the old town


After a quick look around I leave the old town and head to a tour agency - I made an appointment because I want to go to an old village outside Tripoli in the mountains. I get there and assume it is only a question whether or not I will pay the price of a daytrip tomorrow. But it is not so. When I get there I am told - well you can not expect to come here and be able to go somewhere else tomorrow. To actually go outside Tripoli the company would have to get permits and contact the tourist police in advance - this would take minimum 3 days. I am amazed 3 day to organize a simple daytrip for an independent traveller - this is for me a clear indication that the system in Libya is really messed up and should be changed for the better.

Still moving stuff in the old medina


It is pretty clear tourism won't take of in Libya as long as they got this kind of annoying regulations preventing (semi)independent travelling. Not to mention the visa regulation is hopeless and precluding Americans from getting into the country - the alcohol policy will stop any take of in mass tourism in the form of charter tourism despite the fact the country got a massive hardly used coastline along the Mediterranean. So generally the policy towards tourist is plain stupid - or maybe it is an advantage their is still a country you can go to without annoying Americans and drunken Brits - I got to think a bit more about this one.


Well after my somewhat disappointing visit to the tour company I walk back to the hotel and say goodbye to the rest of my tour group they are leaving around noon. Then - finally alone - nobody to tell me what to do and when to do it - no more following the leader doing what ever he wants to do whenever he wants it - I am FREE - FREE AT LAST.
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The old royal palace - now library…
The old royal palace - now librar…
Building across from the old cathe…
Building across from the old cath…
The old cathedral - now mosque
The old cathedral - now mosque
Moving goods around in the old town
Moving goods around in the old town
Still moving stuff in the old medi…
Still moving stuff in the old med…
Now a quite street in the medina
Now a quite street in the medina
photo by: Aussiedream