Margy's Second BIG Sailing Adventure 2008 travel blog


Mosaic detail

World Heritage sign

View of the temple and the ocean

The Theatre


Malcolm and Fred chasing the camels

Outside of Berber Granary

Inside Granary

Block and tackle use to pull up loads of grain to storgae...


Sabratha, Qasr Al-Haj and Gharyan

On the 13th we had a big day starting with a morning at Sabratha, another World Heritage site of stunning Roman ruins including the most beautiful theatre dating from 190AD which was rebuilt by the Italians in the 1920’s.

The decline of the Roman Empire was exacerbated by the great earthquake in 365AD after which entire cities were abandoned or went into decline and Sabratha was no exception. That earthquake affected a huge area ranging from Crete to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

To visit these sites in Libya, we had to have a guide. Unfortunately, our guide for this site was very hard to understand and everybody found him very hard work! Unlike the wonderful guide we had for Leptis Magna.

After lunch we drove out into the desert to visit an old Berber Village with a circular, fortified granary. It was four levels high and each family had a room for the storage of grain etc. The villagers had only abandoned it in the 1960’s. We were the only tourists and while we were having a look an old man came up and he showed us his family’s storage room.

Then on to Gharyan to see the underground houses built by ancient Berber inhabitants. They were built around a square open to the sky with each family having a room off the square. Being underground they maintained a very nice temperature all year. Now they are mostly abandoned for modern, above ground housing. We stayed for a night program of dinner and local dancing. Unfortunately this was their first night program and it was a bit of a disaster as we were still waiting for dinner at 10pm! As we had started our day at 9am we were all exhausted by the time we got home again at midnight

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