Definitely off the beaten tourist trails and one the more unlikely travel destinations that you can think of, Libya will be a travel destination to aim for once peace and order returns to the country. Home to perhaps some of the best preserved Roman cities like Leptis Magna and Sabratha, thanks to the protection afforded by wind blown desert sands that covered the sites for centuries, Libya was not an outpost but an important African Province of the Roman Empire. The Emperor Septimius Severus was born in Leptis Magna and the city grew in maginificence during his reign. In the East, in the erstwhile Province of Cyrenaica, are the remains of the important Greek cities of Cyrene and Apollonia.
Tripoli, with its Italian flavoured architecture, street cafes and covered bazaars is typical of North Afican Mediterrancean cities. Until the 2011 revolution, pictures and placards in museums and public buildings were all geared towards extolling the virtues of 'The Colonels' revolution. That has all changed now, Muammar Gaddafi is gone, and once the dust settles, the real Libya will emerge.
A diverse ethnic mix of Tuarags, Berbers and Arabs, often wth competing and shifting loyalties, the country has a long and colourful history. From the ancient Garamantes Kingdom that flourished in the deep Sahara, to the Phoenicians, the Greeks and Romans and later the Byzantines and Arabs, many conquerors have passd through this ancient land and left their mark along the coast and in town and oases deep in the desert.
In more recent times, Tobruk in eastern Libya was the site of a major battle between the Australian 9th Division and German forces that laid the foundation of later Allied victories in North Africa.
The ancient granaries of Nalut and the buried oases town of Ghadames built below ground to keep the fierce desert heat at bay are only some of the sites in western Libya worth spending time travcelling to.In the Sahara, near Sabha, are improbable deep blue lakes surrounded by the ever shifting sand dune desert.
Peace will return one day and so will travellers hoping to experience one the world's few 'undiscovered' destinations such a short flying distance away from Europe.