24 Hours as Tourist in Libya (not easy)
The --- ----- in 2011. We saved a lot of Libyan lives. Now, could we have done more after the —— —— was ended? Well, that's always, you know, second-guessing, and I'm sure that there's more we could have done but let's look at what we did do. A complex and highly —— situation.
The international effort that we have led in Libya. We finally have hope that our nightmare of 40 years will soon be over. Welcome back to Libya. Here we are near the Algerian and Tunisian borders. About to jump in a car and go explore around this region.
We're staying in this huge luxury hotel. I'll show it to you later in the video, but I just want to quickly say while I'm kind of by myself that please take these videos as I'm kind of quite restricted in what I can and can't film in this country, to be honest. They try to take you to historical sites, which is interesting and everything but personally, for making videos I'm more interested in filming the people and how they feel in the current times and how they're living and everything. But I'm going to try and talk to some of the people that will meet out in public even though we've been kind of told that that's not allowed. Anyway, we'll come back to this massive hotel. It's quite strange, it's got low-key North Korea vibes, and then we're going to go out to meet some like boy races in the desert or something.
Anyway, it's a really interesting country. I'm just kind of figuring it out. Lots to learn, lots of strange rules underlying that you have to be careful of the —— are constantly tracking us they know where we are at what time. <i>Salaam alaikum</i>.
So Mr. Bashere what do you do here for a job? He's like the supervisor for this particular building. He was born here in this old town in 1950. Nineteen fifty, and what changes have you seen in this town from 1950 to 2021? It's a long story.
Everything has changed. For the better or for the worse? For the worse. The cost of living going up, a great deal. It used to be nice and cheap now it's very expensive. - Inflation. - Inflation. So his wages were like $30 Dinars, and you could survive with that very nicely now it's even above $1000 Dinars, and it's barely enough.
Do you feel secure and safe here? Yeah, much, much better. Economically is harder, but security is better? What do you prefer then? Do you prefer to have less access to money and more access to safety or vice versa? Before, a bit better before. - <i>Shukran</i>. - <i>Shukran</i>. There's some —— behind that wall watching us.
Okay, so a few hours have passed, and we've spent time in this old city which was built like 3000 years ago the last inhabitants left though in the 80s and it's been really interesting we've seen a lot of beautiful sights and everything, and it's quite incredible to be here, there's no other tourists here. Apparently, foreigners like never come here. Apparently, the words going around that there's a foreigner in the town and we've been assigned —— officers.
There's —— officers following us everywhere it started with just two and then all of a sudden there were five following us around. They say it's for our own safety. There were some —— —— on the outside of the fortress, and then our guide said that there was no fighting inside just outside in 2011 after the revolution. We did find old —— on the ground inside.
Anyway, I better not stray too far, but yeah. As I said before, this is interesting to me, but in terms of making videos, you know, there's plenty of great documentaries about the history of North Africa and things, so I'm gonna try and, you know, do what I can to meet the people and show you, but yeah just keep in mind that it's extremely controlled. I've managed to just actually sneak away here. Normally we're being monitored all the time.
We're going to go into a house now, and we're going to have some lunch, and then I'll head back to the hotel, and I'll show you the strange empty hotel there. Here we have Mecca up here. - Great, so we're here with Muhammad Ali. - Yes. And Muhammad's been showing us around the old city here today.
You mentioned earlier that you spent time living in the UK in Scotland and England. Yes, I've been there to study for nearly two years. I study my main job, air traffic controller.
I learned many things there. I improved my English. And how are the people in England and Scotland? Oh yeah, I'm telling you the fact, Scotland more friendly than English. - Right. - Really. And you've been back in Libya for 30 or so years now, right? Yes, yeah, from 1980, 41 years.
Forty-one years, yeah. And what have been the main differences in those 41 years that you've seen in the country? Everything is different, really. Before... I prefer before than now. Now we were living really in bad condition. - Really? - Yeah. Yeah, we're not... It's okay now, better than before
seven or eight years ago, but it's okay. In your day-to-day life, what is the hardest things then? It's the economy a little bit. - Economy? - Yeah, a little bit.
But now it's Ghadamis, speaking about Ghadamis now, it's good, it's safe, even when we had the —— here in Libya, yeah Ghadamis was maybe number one. - You feel safe here? - Yeah, I feel safe, yeah. You don't see many foreigners come now since 2011? Yeah, really, yeah. Sometimes we have, sometimes coming here as VIP. - Diplomats? - Yeah, diplomats, that's all, yeah.
And do you think that in the coming decade that more people will start coming here? I hope in the future maybe when Libya would be safe. - Direction, or it's what I call... - Positive direction. Exactly. Many people in the west and where I'm from, they would be worried about visiting Libya because of safety, and I was one of those, I was a bit concerned coming here and what would you say... - What do you find now? - I feel a lot safer than I expected.
- Exactly. - Yeah, yeah. Of course, everyone would like to give you some bad information. Really, believe me, Libya it's really, it's okay now, maybe two or three years ago, it's safer.
Sometimes you hear about bombing, but it's everywhere, sometimes even in England, even in the USA, you find bombing, or maybe suddenly... This is life, sorry for that, but Ghadamis our Libya especially it's safe. So you recommend people to come to visit Libya? Sure, sure, yes, and going better now.
- It will improve? - Yeah, improve, yeah. Today better than yesterday, and tomorrow better than today. - Okay, <i>shukran</i>. - Thanks, okay. It is really hot.
It's 43 degrees Celsius, we just saw on the thermostat in the car. So, we've come back to the hotel, and we've had a bit of a rest, it's kind of seems like the thing to do here because it's so hot in the hot hours of the day I mean you like being outside you're just instantly cooking being in the middle of the Sahara here. Anyway, here's the hotel.
I'm going to show you around this very odd situation here. Before we explore the hotel, I just want to take a quick second and say a huge thank you to Curiosity Stream for sponsoring this video. Curiosity Stream is basically like the documentary version of Netflix.
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So head to curiositystream.com/indigo, and you can also use the link in the description. Okay, then let's check out this Libyan hotel. Beautiful, beautiful hotel, don't get me wrong, but it's empty.
We did... I'll show you a clip of the breakfast just now. So here we are at breakfast some coffee, yogurts, cheese, tuna, beans. I'm the only one here. So, I'll take you inside the hotel now.
I'm not sure, but just two —— cars just pulled out full of guys, and they're just staring at me, so I don't know. I feel like I'm always being monitored here. Anyway, let's go in this hotel, get away from that situation. There's a few employees over there to my left. Through here is where breakfast was this morning. These are all —— officers that just walked in.
Apparently, you know, the whole town knows that I'm here because it's very, very rare to see a foreigner here, so it's a strange feeling, to be honest. Anyway, I'll take you down to the rooms you'll see how big this is. I don't believe those are finished houses. Those are just shells of houses that were never finished. And here's my room, and there's even a Mercedes-Benz shower head here. I completely understand that the country's been through absolute hell in recent history, so I understand why the ——, but it's still quite intense.
As you can see our tour guide Muhammad Ali, super nice guy. It's nice to hear, and I've talked to quite a few people now here in Libya, and the common theme seems to be that economically current times are difficult but safety and security it's the best it's been in a long time it seems to be improving the economic situation, so fingers crossed that momentum keeps going and economically people can feel more stable. We're about to go out and meet some people who are into like four-wheel driving and things that should be interesting to meet those guys. So we've been back here at the hotel for a couple of hours just waiting for the heat of the day to drop because, like I said, you can't be outside like, I was outside like two minutes I'm sweating. There's huge potential here for tourism, especially if you're into history.
- <i>Salaam Alaikum</i>. - <i>Salaam</i>. I don't know if you can hear me, it's quite windy, but we've just driven out into the desert in a land cruiser, and we've climbed this mountain, in the background is actually Algeria. My guide's phone just went off, and it said welcome to Algeria, so pretty special to be out here you know, and Libya has so much to see you know, the natural beauty as well. There's a lot more to see than the —— and things that you see when you turn on the television. I mean, those things are happening, or they have happened, but there's also this other side to see, you know.
This guy's a bit of a mad driver. He's drifting along the ridges and like filming it on his phone and taking selfies and things, it's quite fun. The driver was just saying that he can normally drive all the way up here, but the dunes have shifted, they change shape, and move.
So far, Libya is nowhere near as intimidating as what I thought, you know, I did expect a lot more —— presence if I'm being honest. I did expect a lot more questioning and checkpoints. The places I've been and I think the places where I'm going to be traveling on this Libya trip are relatively stable. There are parts of the country which are not so much, but you know comparing to what it was like, you know, even one to two years ago there's been —— and things, and you know there is little scratching of it here and there but nothing compared to what it was.
Everybody's friendly with each other and saying hello and things, I guess, after going through so much. Libya is a country I've wanted to visit for two years now, over two years and to be here it's really special. It's a lot steeper than it looks on camera, I guarantee it.
Success. Slight update, came up this hill here, now we're bellied out on this huge ridge. I swear we were gonna roll just then. That was scary. Is that your signature, the one sandal? - How old is he? - Twenty-one.
That's like how I used to drive when I was 21 in Auckland. So, we're here with our crazy driver here and Fraage what do you do for work? Are you driving full time or what else? Like free enterprise, you know, it's so basically whatever is available, he will do. And what do you do for fun? Now it's mainly work, work, work.
- Work, work, work. - Yep. Have you traveled to other parts of the country? Yeah, he's been to the capital Tripoli mainly. What's it like in the capital compared to here? Did you like it or is it too busy? Yeah, no, no he did not fit there at all, yeah too much, so he had to come back here. Okay, thank you for the adventure, <i>shukran</i>. So, we have come back into the old city, and we've been surprised with this really beautiful ambiance in the middle of the desert.
Nice lighting and they've got all these cool knick-knacks and things. Teapots and everything and they're cooking us a meal now really beautiful. Look at this, this is really special. I was not expecting that. What a setting. Old petrol canisters here and lots of teapots. What do we have here? Is it couscous? - It's rice. - Rice.
Interesting stories, so you know, like learning he found out this was during the kingdom, during the kingdom, the cigarette was known as Sport, and you could see it's in English and in Arabic and then during —— time, it changed into "reality'" which is the Arabic word for sport, so picking up on things like that basically. So they were selling cigarettes as something to use for sports? Well obviously those days, you know you would put cigarettes as for only a fit sport man would you do that. When he can get the whole group of a certain product together, that's even more exciting. He said the more he does that, the more he wants to do it. It's worth a lot of money as well.
Nineteen twenty-three. Italians were into tomatoes, weren't they, because of the spaghetti. It's after midnight, still like 33 degrees Celsius outside there.
The desert life is pretty crazy. All the shops are open now, it's like people live nocturnally here. That collection there was unbelievable, and such a nice dinner there. Strange day, very interesting. The —— are nice, and things they say <i>salaam alaikum</i> and they're friendly, but you know they are always aware of what you're up to so you know they say it's for our protection, so yeah, that's great. In the next video, we're going to be driving eight hours across the desert again, and we're going to be heading to Tripoli the capital, we're going to see more of the capital and see how life is there nowadays hopefully, meet some people, it is pretty hard, but we will do our best to meet people and ask them how's life and things.
Anyway, thank you very much for watching this very strange video. I know it's a random, eclectic mix of different things, but you know, I'll take what I can get in this country. Just to get access into this country is a privilege and an honor to get in here. I took some different photos today, if you want to check them out, check them out on my Instagram indigo.traveller with two L's.
Thank you so much for watching, and in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening, and good night.