Libya, Libya, Libya
January 11, 2006 5:50 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone been to Libya?

I'm trying to plan a vacation for June, and Tripoli is on the short list of contenders. I've been to other parts of Africa and the Middle East, and from what I hear Libya has some excellent examples of Roman ruins.

What I'm curious about: where to stay, best way to get there (from NYC), is there really no alcohol?
posted by hummus to Travel & Transportation around Libya (12 answers total)
Oddly, just on Metafilter. Not just no alcohol, you have to have a state appointed guide and it sounds pretty much like a shit hole.
posted by geoff. at 6:30 PM on January 11, 2006

Technically alcohol is severely forbidden, but I stumbed across this interesting travel story, which mentioned block parties where liquor makes the rounds. Not that I'd take a chance, personally.
posted by chef_boyardee at 6:35 PM on January 11, 2006

Here is a Slate story about travel in Libya, with a slideshow and a link to an NPR audio.
posted by LarryC at 6:45 PM on January 11, 2006

Not since 2004, matt. A warming has taken place due to the settling of the Lockerbie and nuclear research issues.
posted by dhartung at 7:26 PM on January 11, 2006

Haven' been there myself - I can only point you to Thorn Tree, the travel forum by Lonely Planet. It is usually a great way to start when looking for travel experiences.

(Also: Libya FAQ - found trough TT.)
posted by lodev at 12:57 AM on January 12, 2006

Also: Libya tag on Flickr.
posted by LarryC at 6:14 AM on January 12, 2006

Last I looked, Libya was in The World's Most Dangerous Places guidebook. If you check out a copy it should have some useful info for you. (It's great reading even if you're not travelling to one of the countries it covers.)
posted by Melinika at 7:54 AM on January 12, 2006

Last I looked, Libya was in The World's Most Dangerous Places guidebook.

So is the United States.
posted by pracowity at 8:28 AM on January 12, 2006

The travel embargo was lifted in 2004, when Qaddafi suddenly became seemingly friendly and more open to the US. As I understand it, Libyans are generally pretty amiable towards Americans. My feeling is that, like Cubans, the average citizen is likely to be as curious as the traveller, especially since a lot of them may have never met an American. Politics ain't everything. I'll see if I can get more info from an acquaintance who's actually been there, though.

A National Geographic Adventure photo gallery here. I thought there was a longer piece there. I'll keep looking...
posted by hellbient at 9:09 AM on January 12, 2006

I stayed in Libya a couple of months way back, by chance leaving the same day as Quaddafi's revolution ... so my experience is very out of date.

The Roman ruins ARE wonderful, and (back then) it was amazing to see the ruins just out in the desert with so little around them, undeveloped, tiled floors falling to bits in the sand.

I don't recall the location but one place I was swimming over Roman-era ruins. Very wonderful. I'm severely near-sighted but spotted an amphora half-hidden in the sand so dived down and brought it up, only to find it was an unexploded shell from WW2. Ooops ... put it down very carefully!

When I was there the Libyans were not nice to know. It's the only place I've had rocks thrown at me. I doubt they're nicer now.
posted by anadem at 10:27 AM on January 12, 2006

you know, i think I may have gotten my potentially sketchy countries mixed up. The acquaintance I was referring to actually relayed that interaction with Libyan citizens was a bit strange, interspersed with nice moments. I'd imagine some of it had to do with being female, though.
I should have looked into it more before posting...
posted by hellbient at 11:26 AM on January 12, 2006

This is probably way too late, but I have heard great, great things about the Roman ruins from a Japanese friend who went there a couple years ago. She didn't get weirdness about being female, but she was travelling with a small group from a university that included some men. Good luck on the trip.
posted by whatzit at 8:56 PM on February 12, 2006

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