Asmera . nl  
 
Eritrea November 2006
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
    01 02 03 04 05
06 07 08 09 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
 
Eritrea December 2006
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
        01 02 03
04 05 06 07 08 09 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
next page   previous
Touring through Eritrea
November and December 2006
 
Asmara and surroundings
November and December 2006
 

 

Massawa Eritrea - November 23rd 2006

 

It is a short walk from the house of Gebrehiwot near Cinema Roma, to the office of Travel House International, opposite to the Italian club Casa Degli Italiani. I do not want to let Tedros wait for me, so I am there just before 6:00. The driver of the modern Iveco mini bus recognizes me, and gives a sign, blinking with the headlamps of the bus. We leave exactly in time for the trip to Massawa.

The 115 kilometer trip takes two and a half hours, experiencing the “three seasons in three hours”, exchanging the chilly Asmara morning for the moderate climate of Ghinda and finally the comfortably warm Massawa climate. Just before we reach Massawa, we pass a just completed new stretch of asphalt road and a new bridge, build to replace the old Italian construction, and straightening some curves in the road.

At 10:00 we have finished the paperwork in the office of the Eritrean Shipping Lines, the permits for the visit of the Dahlak Islands, and the final arrangements for chartering the patrol boat. It is winter in Massawa, but still the temperature climbs up to 37 degrees Celsius at noon. In a slow pace I wander from the port district to the Red Sea hotel, my home for the next two days.

With Mette and John, two Danish tourists, also staying in the Red Sea Hotel, I take a taxi to Gurgusum beach, which is a popular place for a swim, some ten kilometers out of Massawa. The water is nice and warm, but we are afraid our skin will burn if we stay on this beach to long, so after some two hours we return to downtown Massawa with a Toyota mini bus and spend our time walking slowly from the port to our hotel.

Just like Asmara, Massawa is the scene of investments in infrastructure. Chinese contractors have doubled the causeways connecting the port with the mainland. The People's Republic of China  is supporting development plans of the Eritrean government with unconditional financial aid and loans. Western countries usually make aid dependent on preconditions that are closely related to Western values (quite often resulting in political or material gains for the donor countries. Returns on investment often is one of these values).

Another large building site is the Dahlak Hotel extensions. Many blocks of  apartments, build with respect to the typical Massawa building styles are now almost finished. The first efforts to preserve the architectonical heritage of one of the most fascinating ports in Africa also have been made, although the job to restore what has been damaged by the 1961-1991 war of liberating looks immense.

Mette and John want me to join them to enjoy the night life of downtown Massawa, but I will go to bed early for a good rest. Tomorrows appointment is at 6:00 at the ESL office, just behind the Massawa police station.

  .   .

Coral block carvings and traditional shutters - Massawa Eritrea.

Coral block carvings and traditional shutters - Massawa Eritrea.

Batse alleys - Massawa Eritrea.

Batse alleys - Massawa Eritrea.

Bar - Batse Massawa Eritrea.

Bar - Batse Massawa Eritrea.

Traditional houses - Batse port district Massawa Eritrea.

Traditional houses - Batse port district Massawa Eritrea.

Massawa's columns and arches - Batse port district.

Massawa's columns and arches - Batse port district.

Former Banca d'Italia - Batse port district Massawa.

Former Banca d'Italia - Batse port district Massawa.

Eritrean Shipping Lines Headoffice - Massawa Eritrea.

Eritrean Shipping Lines head office - Massawa Eritrea.

Carved doors of the former imperial palace - Massawa Eritrea.

Carved doors of the former imperial palace - Massawa Eritrea.

Catholic Church - Massawa Eritrea.

Catholic Church - Massawa Eritrea.

Red Sea Hotel - Massawa Eritrea.

Red Sea Hotel - Massawa Eritrea.

 

 
| Home & index | Top | Contact | Next | Previous | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2011 | 2014 | 2016