The long road to Cullaville

Stories from my travels to every country in the world

Chapter 11
Operation Pepernoot
[Somalia, 2014]

[...]

Despite street after street of completely ruined houses, despite its desolate appearance, it is undeniable that Mogadishu once had style and flair. It requires imagination, but if you let your mind run its course, supported by old photographs, an image of an elegant city on the coast of the Indian Ocean will develop in your mind. Wide boulevards lined with palm trees, buildings in white and pale yellow colours, a mix of Italian and East African architecture, where a cathedral stands a stone's throw from a mosque, where squares with monuments and fountains light up the city. Mogadishu is like an old lady of whom, when you look past the grooves that time has mercilessly carved into her face, you see that she was once a desirable young woman for whom passing men turned their heads.

[...]