Holidays in Misrata

Our correspondent enjoys Libya's beautiful clear turquoise waters and empty sandy beaches - with the distant thuds of shelling in the background.

    We hit the beach today. Just for a couple of hours before heading back to the frontline.

    I've not swum in the sea before with the distant thuds of shelling in the background. It gave us a taste of what life could be like along this beautiful coastline.

    Beautiful clear turquoise waters and empty sandy beaches. But the soundtrack was more Apocalypse Now than Summer Holiday.

    It’s not just the views that could make this a great holiday destination. The Libyan people are hospitality personified.

    Everywhere we go in Misrata someone pops up with food or drink, whether it's freshly brewed coffee, hot pizza made at one of the triage stations or ice cream delivered to the frontline

    We were shooting next to the burnt out wreck of the big supermarket in town a few days ago when a tray of cold water in a beautiful glass jug and freshly baked fairy cakes with a syrupy topping appeared.

    Serving us refreshments was one of Libya's national football players who happened to live next door.

    You can still see what a beautiful city Misrata once was in some of the residential neighbourhoods, with their streets of elegant villas in well-manicured gardens.

    The Libyans have a penchant for topiary - I've seen dozens of trees in Benghazi and Misrata cut into squares or pyramids.

    I think the topiarists must be fighting on the frontline in Misrata as the trees are looking a bit unkempt.

    I'm told Tripoli Street was once a vibrant boulevard of busy shops, restaurants and boutiques.

    If, one day, when this conflict has come to an end, you get the chance to visit this country I recommend you take it.

    They'll welcome you with open arms.


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