The glorious Greco-Roman city of Cyrene
On Friday 9th July, I visited the ancient city of Cyrene near the modern town of Shahat. This was a day when bird watching was combined with culture. Cyrene is a must-see place before anyone self-respecting world traveller dies. It is perched up on the escarpment of the Jebel Ahkdar (Green Mountain) at 625 metres overlooking the sea.
It was the coolest day of the summer - only 28C in Benghazi and 23C at Cyrene. This was bliss to those of us: Wendy, Ed and I who have laboured in the North African summer and chose this day out together.
We set out early, giving us time to visit make the long trip up the Al Marj plain and on to the Jebel Akhdar. The hill range is the most temperate in Libya and has the most rainfall. It has more in common with southern Europe than with the rest of Libya.
We took a break for mid morning tea between Qasr Libya and Cyrene. While the others drank, I ventured. I didn't have to venture far. The hedgerow (itself a novelty) contained at least three African Blue Tit. This was my first observation of them in Libya. they only live in the Jebel Akhdar. Before I had only seen them in Morocco. Although they weren't shy, they refused to move out of the sun.