Heading for Sabratha a few days later we are at a beach behind the Libyan border , and are proud of our Libyan numberplate. What happened: After the pressure switch was installed and still the car did not work, Bodo and I desperately played ourselves with the car. We forgot a plug to connect to the pressure switch and to our surprise the car was running again, not even round, but at least it was running. Probably the switch makes the engine stop when the diesel fuel does not meet 100% European specifications. So we left the plug away and outwitted the Electronics. And we went quickly on and headed to Libya.
The next day we go further on to Sabratha and visit the excavations.
Sabratha is one of the most beautiful ruins and archaeological sites in the world. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The theater is a highlight of the Roman architecture.
It was built in the heyday of the region, as one of the sons of the country became emperor in Rome . Septimus Severus gave the theater as a present to this region. It is the world’s most beautiful Roman theater with the most spectacular scenery. We stroll through the grounds and are impressed by the condition of the buildings. Such is seen rarely in Europe.
The extraordinary three-story backdrop is built with the help of over 100 Corinthian columns. The head-high stage front, the Orchestra wall, is decorated with beautiful reliefs of white marble. In three semi-circular and rectangular niches mythological or theatrical scenes are depicted.
Far left in the semi-circular niche, the Muses are depicted, goddesses of the arts and sciences. The middle semi-circular niche is the most important: with the help of a servant Severus brings a drink offering. Beside – Rome, represented by an Amazon, and Sabratha, with cornucopia and patera hands reach their hands. The whole scenery is guarded by Roman soldiers.
In another niche the pretty three Graces, Venus, Minerva and Juno are admired. In the other niches there is a Paris motif, and Mercury, carrying the little Dionysus. As you climb up the steps of the seats, the stage wall comes with the three columned loggias nicely into view. 22 meters high is the stage wall, the diameter of the 5000 seats auditorium is 90 meters.
If you sit in the upper rows of the auditorium and look to the west across the stage wall you have a marvellous view over the ancient Sabratha. The town consisted of houses, several temples and basilicas, and the thermal bath.
Particularly striking are the freestanding Corinthian columns of the Temple of Liber Pater, which stand on a high pedestal and rise particularly high and picturesque into the sky. If you look to the east the pillars of the temple of Isis can be seen. She was the patron saint of seafarers.
We are impressed with Sabratha and the sights and return to the campsite. Tomorrow we want to get to the 100 km distant Tripoli, the capital of Libya. Bodo and Bine were not prepared on a crossing of Africa and they must obtain visas for Egypt.
To get even more information go to Wikipedia.