Tunisia into Libya
Tripoli Travel Blog› entry 10 of 22 › view all entries
After an early departure we head for the Tunisian border and cross over into Libya today. As I said earlier some of the formalities to get into Libya are quite complex. We found out from our Libyan "fixer" that even though we had to have biometric passports they did not yet have the correct machines to read them at the border post. It was just a tit for tat reaction to the British govt requiring all Libyan citizens applying for UK visas to have one! Our two Kiwi friends on the trip then told us they had to apply for UK passports as the Libyan govt had no diplomatic ties with New Zealand and so none of its passport holders could enter Libya! Unfortunately they had spelling mistakes in there new passports on the translation form which held us up for several hours until a compromise was reached. As we had both our fixer and a security guard on the bus with us they guarantied that no one would wander off and a new translation would be made and the passports returned in Tripoli the next day.
We continue on, along the Mediterranean coast, toward the ancient city of Sabratha, founded by the Canaanites in the 6th century BC. Following a guided introduction to the site, we’ll spend some time exploring the extensive remnants from the city’s Roman period. Sabratha was under the domination of Carthage before its defeat by the Romans. It particularly prospered during the 3rd century AD, becoming famous as a trading centre for gold, ivory, leather and slaves, brought north from central Africa through the Saharan trade posts of Ghadames and Fezzan. Of particular interest are its splendid theatre and marble clad public baths. From Sabratha we continue to Tripoli, Libya’s capital and largest city.