Destination: Libya

‘I Was Writing a Guidebook to a Country That No Longer Exists’

Kate Grace Thomas updated the Lonely Planet guidebook to Libya just before the Arab Spring. As the country turned violent, the book was quickly put on hold. Yet Thomas found herself itching to return to Libya. She writes about her experiences in Guernica:

War is not my beat. I knew that. But Libya, somehow, was. I went in December to tell its stories—stories of nascent tourism and marvelous ruins, stories of deserted beaches and drinking sugary tea in the winter wind. And now, there were more stories to tell.

(Via @writinginpublic)

World Travel Watch: Havoc in Central America, Volcano Fears in Iceland and More

Larry Habegger rounds up global travel news

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Libya’s Tripoli Airport: Airworld, It’s Not

Libya’s Tripoli Airport: Airworld, It’s Not REUTERS/Louafi Larbi
REUTERS/Louafi Larbi

We write a lot about Airworld and the notion that, beyond the security gates, the world’s airports are becoming more alike by the day. But a nice story in Reason about a press junket to Libya suggests that Tripoli’s airport retains its unique, uh, charm:

When the BBC reported that “at Tripoli’s ultra-modern airport…you could be almost anywhere in the world,” I expected at bare minimum a Starbucks, a fake Irish pub, and (this is the ultra bit) a bank of vending machines dispensing iPods and noise-canceling headphones.

Well, perhaps we came through Libya’s spillover airport, its Midway or Stansted, because this is “anywhere in the world” only in some mad, dystopian-novel sense. Available for purchase are Egyptian gum, cheap watches celebrating 40 years of the Libyan revolution, and glossy magazines with Hugo Chavez on the cover.

Rebranding Libya: We’re Eco-Friendly!

Talk about rebranding. In a surprise move earlier this week, Libya rolled out a plan to transform a swath of its Mediterranean coast into the “world’s largest sustainable region.” British architect Norman Foster has been brought in to design three “green” luxury hotels near the ancient ruins of Cyrene, while additional initiatives in the Green Mountain region will focus on archaeological conservation, eco-tourism and production of organic food and drink.

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Suffering and Smiling: Vanity Fair Does Africa

Africa is hot. Why? So we can save it? Frank Bures deconstructs the magazine's latest issue and what it says about Western views of the continent.

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The Critics: ‘Bad Lands: A Tourist on the Axis of Evil’

It’s not a new idea, visiting the countries U.S. President George W. Bush dubbed the “Axis of Evil.” Ben Anderson, for instance, did it several years ago, and the BBC broadcast several programs based on his travels. Now Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler has written “Bad Lands: A Tourist on the Axis of Evil,” in which he chronicles his travels through Bush’s original three “axis” countries—Iran, Iraq and North Korea—plus Afghanistan, Albania, Burma, Cuba, Libya and Saudi Arabia.

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A Brief History of Adventure Travel

Yahoo! adventure guru Richard Bangs covers the history of adventure travel in just 874 words today in a New York Times piece. I’ll summarize in 86 words: First adventure travelers were merchants on expedition. Many accidental discoveries. Ericson, North America. Columbus, the Caribbean. Modern adventure travel began 35 years ago. Treks in the Nepalese Himalayas. Maoist revolutionaries emerge. Adventurers go to Bhutan. In the ‘70s, Afghanistan, Algeria and New Guinea. In the ‘80s, the Nile, Mount Ararat and Bali. Religious-based terrorism drives out adventurers. In the ‘90s, the Alps. Euro rises. Everyone goes to Thailand. Tsunami hits. Libya, Mozambique, Nicaragua and Panama become popular. For now. When in doubt, there’s always Costa Rica.

Journey to Libya

Richard Bangs’ stories about his travels in Libya have been featured this week on Slate’s Well Traveled. Bangs was also featured in an interview in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, in which he spoke about his Libya trip.

Tags: Africa, Libya

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