Leptis Magna- the place I had been looking forward to the most on my trip to Libya. Its located in Khoms, 130km (81miles) East of Tripoli and I had to pass a total of eight militia checkpoints to get there from the capital.
The name of the Roman city comes from Latin with Magna meaning “the great” whereas Leptis Parva “Leptis the small” is a similar roman ruin city located in Tunisia.
Leptis Magna was declared a UNESCO heritage site in 1982 and is now one of the best preserved roman ruin city in the mediterranian.
The city used to be the home to around 80 000 people during the roman empire and really flourished around year 200A.D as it was the hometown of the Roman Emperor Septimus Severus until the city was stuck by a tsunami in year 365A.D.
We spent a full walking through the ruins, being explained by our guide Yousuf how life used to be in the ancient roman empire. The best part was that we had the whole place to ourself, without a single person in sight.
On our way back we stopped at Villa Selene, an ancient roman villa next to a popular beach about 30kilometers from Leptis Magna where I went swimming. I was told by my guide who had worked with tourism in Libya for over 20 years that he thought I was the first tourist to go swimming in Libya since the revolution in 2011.