When I was in the Peace Corps one of my Gambian friends moved to Libya for some reason. This was back when the U.S. and Libya weren’t on the best of terms. I wasn’t ever sure why he went to Libya–all I know is that, once he went there, his wife and kids moved back to live with her mother and I didn’t see him again. I only saw his family one other time.
Brett mentioned in a September post that Libya is opening up to tourists. I second that. There was a travel article today in my Sunday paper that caught my attention. Anna Johnson’s AP article “Libya becoming a bit easier to visit” paints a wonderful picture of an off-the-beaten path destination. However, here’s one country where being an American won’t get you a visa easily. Canadians and Europeans have it a bit easier, but there’s still some red tape. If you’re American, you apply for a visa through a Libyan embassy outside of the U.S. For Canadians and Europeans apply for a visa through a Libyan approved government travel agency. I wouldn’t say it’s a huge hassle to get a visa, just time consuming. It could take months if you are an American. Here’s a tip: If you have a passport stamp from Israel, you won’t get the visa, so get another passport first.
Okay, so why bother with the hassle, you might be thinking? Like Brett mentioned there are some phenomenal ancient sites. He mentioned a few. Here’s another. The Leptis Magna was built by the Roman Empire, and is one of the five UNESCO World Heritage sites in Libya and is considered one of the most important cities of Roman times. There’s also the Sahara Desert, the Mediterranean coast which has not been developed yet–but like Brett wrote, development is coming, the Jebel Acacus Mountains and a lot more. For more terrific shots by Libyan Soup who took this one of the Infudha Rock Arch, head here to Flickr.