Rocking up at Tripoli airport, I was the only female passing through Security on arrival. To say I stood out like a sore thumb would be an under statement. The to-ing and fro-ing with my passport didn't help matters and I couldn't understand the sudden chuckle bursts from the guards. Eventually my passport was handed back to me and I got ushered through, but there was definitely some distinct mocking going on. It wasn't until the end of my trip, that my agent kindly explained the misunderstanding (although he too was laughing). The Libyan Embassy in London had translated my job title "Contractor" to "Builder" !!! Thanks guys...
Anyway, all that joking aside, what a fabulous country Libya was. The ruins of Leptis Magna and Sabratha blew me away. Sitting amongst them, looking out to the Med, wind in my air, sun on my back, I tried to imagine myself in Roman times. I think we studied the Romans at school even more than we studied the Egyptians, so I was digging through the recess of my memory to visualise it all.
I can't believe all that has happened to this country over recent months and I can't believe Colonel Gaddafi is dead. I remember very clearly my guided tour of his museum of treasures and gifts from world leaders. The propaganda was rife, but it was a fascinating insight. I felt completely safe walking around on my own in the capital Tripoli, no hassle from men to speak of, and a very modern, cultured feel to boot.
So, aside from the joke about the builder, the over zealous hotel porter who wanted to do anything for me in return for a visa, and the mega amount of litter everywhere you looked, Libya scored very highly and I feel privileged to have seen it before the revolution. One day I will go back and compare notes.
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.