Keren Eritrea - May 27 2008
There is a shortage of fuel in
Eritrea, and therefore a risk of long queues at the bus station worsened
by the one way flow of many pilgrims to the yearly festival of Mariam
When I walk to the bus station
just after 5:00, the streets of Asmara are dark and deserted. I greet the
military guarding the park around the residence of President Isaias
Afwerki. I guess most of them know me by now, since I passed the park many
I wonder if it was smart to
leave so early. Last year I had to wait two hours for the first bus to
enter the bus station. But I am very lucky. When I pass the Massawa bus station, the bus
to Agordat is ready to leave. There is two seats left, and one is mine.
Of course I will have to pay
the full fare from Asmara to Agordat, which is 44 Nakfa instead of 23
Nakfa, but it is a small surcharge for a tourist, and preventing a lot of
The bus leaves the bus
terminal at 6:00 and after a three hours ride and four or five checks for
spies, deserters and more, we arrive in Keren at 9:00. At the Keren bus
station I have a breakfast of peanuts, lemon juice and zeitun juice.
Tea with grissini in bar
Stuttgart with Elen and her daughters and again with Kidane and his
family. They are the neighbors of Afworki and Hansu and I am always
welcome to wait and even take a shower if I want.
I brought the copies of last
years wedding and when I visit the family of Sina to bring them their pictures,
I am welcomed with soft drinks, coffee and a lunch. As a small gift I hand
them a large package of paracetamol.
At 13:00 I return to the house
of Afworki and Hansu, who will come to their house to have lunch. Hansu is
willing to cook whatever I want, but I tell her I will be happy with just
a salad of tomatoes, onions and some vegetables.
In the afternoon I deliver the
last pictures and at 16:00 I have an appointment with Elen's daughters to
walk a bit through the center of Keren, visit some music shops, and have a
drink on the pavement of the Red Sea Hotel.
At 19:00, just before dark, I
return to the house of Hansu and Afworki, who are waiting for me, and
prepared a diner and a wonderful bed in a room of my own.
The climate is perfect for a
fantastic nights rest after a few araki's.
Yohanna - Keren Eritrea.
Sina and Alganesh - Keren
Lettemariam - Keren Eritrea.
Bethlehem - Keren Eritrea.
Mebrahtu and Hans - Keren
Street scenery - Keren
Decorated Dighe Hotel -
Keren Lalay Eritrea.
Decorated Yohannes Hotel -
Hidat - Keren Eritrea.
Coffee bar - Keren Eritrea.