My trip to Tunisia and Libya
vastervik Travel Blog› entry 8 of 8 › view all entries
I arrived in Djerba late at night and I was so tired I went to bed immediately.
I woke up 10 hours later and saw a great view from my window and balcony! I saw the blue ocean, the white beach and a blue sky. I slept and sunbathed 3 days, I think I was very tired and needed to relax. In Djerba, most of the local speaks arabic, german and french. It was quite difficult for me, I only speaks english and swedish. The menu was in french and german and I have to admit, sometimes I got food I didnt know I ordered ;)
As I dont speak german or french I didnt make any friends at my hotel which was sad and boring, however a swedish couple arrived the day before I went to Libya, so we was hanging around and we also went on a trip ( I will tell you more about that trip later).
It was no problem to be a lonely blond girl, noone was talking to me nor touched me and it was very nice.
anyway, I woke up at thursday morgning and knew its was the Libya day! A minibus picked me up and we were 10 persons in the bus. 3 swedes (incl me), 4 norwegians, our swedish guide, our libyan guide and our libyan driver. We drove to the border and we saw sand, sand, desert, olivetrees, desert, olivtrees, desert...I think you understand ;) We had a toilet stop in Tunisia and we really needed to go to the toilet. When I came into the coffee shop a woman told me that it was a disguisting toilet. How disguisting can it be? O my lord! Its was like a horror movie! (look at the picture). Everyone survived the toilet and 3 hours later we came to the Tunisian border. After some policestops we handed of our passports to the tunisians borderofficers. It took about 10 minutes then we drove into the land of no one and then we came to the Libyan border. We were a little nervous, what if they would rejected our visas? After 1.5 hour we entered Great Socialists People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. YAY! After the border we stopped and exchanged some euros to libyan dinars and then we drove to Sabratha. We entered a restaurant and I dont eat everything so I was little worried about the food. First they served a soup. It was the best soup I've ever eaten!! It is undescribable. It was soo great. Then we got sallad, rice and chicken. As a dessert we ate melon and drank tea. I really dont like fish or any kind of seafood but the restaurant owner told me that the soup was fish soup. O my lord! But it was still great ;)
We jumped into the car and arrived in Tripoli after 2 hours and then we had showed our passports a dussin of times to the police. Our libyan guide told us everything about Libya and its amazing history. Anyway, Tripoli was great. I really loved everything, the people, the history and my senses was on top! We walked in the old town and were guided all the time and it was great. Then we got some freetime to shop, talking to people of whatever we wanted to do. I went to Café Casa and had a Coke and then it was shoppingtime! The basars have everything you need and everything you dont need.
1 hour later we met again and the driver droves us to a hotel, Alokwha (or something), in the middle of Tripoli. It was 3 star but in Sweden it would be a 4 star, very nice hotel, clean and great staff. Later that night we went to a restaurant and again they served this awesome soup! We had a great time together and we were chatting and eating for 4 hours.
it had been a great day and I was very tired so I went to sleep around 11 pm.
Brekfeast was at 6 a clock the next day and we all were very tired but we had a great day in front of us. We were goint to Leptis Magna!
Leptis Magna is an ancient city along the Mediterranean Sea, 2 hours from Tripoli. The city began as a trading port for the ancient people of Phonecia around 1000 BC and then became part of the Roman province of Africa Proconsularis. It is an UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982.
Our libyan guide walked with us for 3 hours and told us everything about this site. It was really awesome! It was very hot so I drank a lots of water and weared a sunhat ;)
You can read about leptis magna here, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lepcis_Magna.
I will write more, but not today, I cant write english very well so I have to take a nap before I continue.... ;)
Now Im back ;) I really loved Leptis Magna, so much history, you could hear the horses and the life of the Roman people (if you have enough imagination ;)). We had lunch (fish soup, vegetables, chicken and rice/couscous and melons) and then it was shopping time! Yay! I had exchanged 500 SEK, about 50 euros to libyan dinars. I had a very difficult time to spend this money! I shopped til I dropped, but I still had dinars in my pocket!
We left the site by our "superbus" and went back to Tripoli. Our driver had forgotten his passport in his apartment so we got an extra deluxe guiding tour in the "new" Tripoli. The city has very many construction sites and one of them is Burj Al Bahr. You know, Dubai has Burj Al Arab and Tripoli will have Burj Al Bahr. Estimated cost for the hotel, 150 million dollar. I really need to apply for a job there!
Then we headed to Tunisia again and the same procedure as last time ;) We stopped at a supermarket and the norwegian family asked me if I had any libyan dinars left. Of course! So we exchanged money, 10 libyan dinars to them and 10 tunisian dinars for me. But of course I still had some libyan money left, so I bought a shirt, water, candy and fruit.
We got stopped by one police and our drivers gave the police some papers in arabic (with our names, passportnumber, route) and he said that we were Scandinavians. The policeman looked as us and said: " are you sure? I think the look Chinese"
Oh my GOD! I love the Chinese people BUT no one have ever called me Chinese! We started to laugh! We laughed all the way to the border...
It was no problem to enter Tunisia again and we drove along the street and watched the sunset in the desert....
THey day after I decided to go on a daytrip to Tataouine and Chenini (holiday? relax and sleep? what did u called it?) Tataouine was nice, I was at the market and bought harissa spice. A swedish couple who I meet at the hotel was also with me. The guy, Robert, said "Why cant we explore other streets here in Tatatouine?" Sure, I said, but as long as we dont get lost, the bus is going to leave 11.45. (I always gets lost in cities). So we walked away from the group...and got lost! Of course! Its not nice getting lost in a city where noone speaks english, in 40 degrees and with a pregnant woman! (Im not pregnant bus Roberts wife is). We didnt knew where we were and I knew that if we not found the bus very soon, the pregnant woman would beat me to death then kill her boyfriend. Lucky us, we found the bus after 30 minutes.....
We drove further to a small town called Chenini, an old berber city, located on a hilltop. We walked to a white mosque at the top and the view was awesome! When we were there a call to prayer was made. Maybe Im crazy but I got this "home"feeling when I hear this prayer. (Im not religious so I dont know why I get this feeling). To hear the prayer when looking at the hilltops was nearly a hallelujah moment for me!
We were also invited to a berber woman and she showed us her house. She had a little kitten, it was cute :)
When I came back to the hotel that night I was very tired. The day after was a ocean/pool/sun day and I had to go back to Sweden... what a shame!
I really loved Libya and I want to go back there every minute!!
Chenini and Tataouine district are also associated with the Star Wars film series. Many scenes for the movies were filmed in the area; one of the moons of the home planet of Luke Skywalker was named Chenini. I am not a huge fan of Star Wars, but now I have to see the movies :)