They had fled the fighting in the capital but now Libyans are heading home to a very different Tripoli.
No longer in the hands of Colonel Gaddafi, the city has new masters, pledging a very different way of life. And, straight off the boat from Benghazi, Tripoli resident Adel was delighted.
“I cannot describe my feelings. I feel like I have been born again, coming back to a liberated Libya,” he said. “The happiness is indescribable. It is deep inside me.”
Nearly 800 internally-displaced people were said to have been on the ship making the first such return trip.
Restoring normality in Tripoli remains a challenge. But water supplies have resumed in the capital after engineers repaired wells which had stopped functioning amid the conflict.