Benghazi

Ptolemais Travel Blog

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Italian colonial monument

Today we have a full day’s drive further east along the coastal road and across to Benghazi. On today’s drive, our main point of interest is a visit to the site at Sultan, once famed for its ‘marble arch’. Historically marking the border between the Ancient Phoenicians and Greeks, the arch today is broken into several pieces, but still remains an important reminder of a turbulent period in the country’s ancient past.

We continue on from here to Benghazi, the second capital of Libya. Most of our drive is through a sudden sandstorm which makes the going quite hairy. We are buffeted about and the visibility is so bad that it is difficult to see where the road ends and the desert begins. A couple of emergency stops are needed to negotiate checkpoints that loom out of the swirling sand.

Once coveted by Romans, Turks, Arabs and Italians, much of  old Benghazi was badly damaged during the Second World War and the post-war construction has resulted in a much more modern feel. The storm is still raging so we check into the hotel and shower to get rid of some of the road dust.We eat in the hotels Italian restaurant which is passable and then batten down the hatches for an early night.

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Italian colonial monument
Italian colonial monument
Ptolemais
photo by: pilgrim68
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