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Eritrea November 2009
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Eritrea December 2009
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November & December 2009
A warm winter in Eritrea
 

 

Massawa - December 1 2009

 

At 6:00 I slip out of the house to walk to the bus station. t is dark, but the streets are well illuminated. I pass the military guarding the presidential residence. We exchange short polite greetings The streets are almost empty.

And just that empty is the bus station. "Batse, Batse, Batse!" Batse is another name for Massawa. The ticket seller tries to attract passengers by calling out loud the destination of the bus.

I claim the front seat close to the door, leaving my rucksack there. A friendly Eritrean advises me not to choose this bus. "It is a private bus, and it takes hours before it leaves. It is better to wait for the public bus."

I follow the advice and return to the queue waiting for the bus. From one of the boys selling all kinds of small food items, I buy some grissini to share with my fellow passengers.

When we board, the friendly driver offers me the front seat. "Please sit here, for a better view." At 7:30 we are on our way to Massawa.

Up to Nefasit our trip goes through the fog of the Asmara escarpments. From the front seat I have an excellent view, and I can open the window to make pictures. The driver slows down to help me catch the panorama's.

In Ghinda we have a 20 minute tea break. Children are selling baskets, lemons, and peanuts. I do my best to picture them, but they won't let me.

Giving all my attention to the children, I forget the capricious landscape, and hit the Eritrean soil very hard with my bottom. It's great fun for the children, and a lot of pain for me. And sandy clothes. But my camera and bones fortunately survived.

With the help of the military, I make sure that my clothes are free of sand before we continue our bus trip to Massawa. I continue my cat and mouse game with the children and my camera.

Many months later I felt sorry that I did not buy a some of their baskets. They would make a perfect storage device for fruits in my kitchen. Now I only have their picture as a souvenir.

After Ghinda we experience more rain and the temperature are rises rapidly as we approach the Red Sea coast.

At 11:00 we enter the Massawa bus station. From there I follow the track of the railway to the Sigalet Cinema. The Cinema is next to the Seghen International Hotel, a two year old upper class hotel.

The Dahlak hotel is still under renovation. The owner Giovanni Primo more that doubled the hotel's capacity with neighboring extensions on Tualed Island,  and the hotel will not be open for guests until February 2010.

After checking in and drinking some mineral water, I explore the surroundings of the hotel, walking into the salt pans, where piles of unrefined salt are waiting for further processing.

I have pasta for diner in the Seghen International Hotel, where I spend the rest of the evening drinking mineral water and double arakies. I need the rest. Still feel my bones after falling in Ghinda.

 

Driving through the foggy Asmara highlands - Eritrea.

Driving through the foggy Asmara highlands - Eritrea.

Panoramic view - Durfo Eritrea.

Panoramic view - Durfo Eritrea.

View on Nefasit Eritrea.

View on Nefasit Eritrea.

Children selling fruits and baskets - Ghinda Eritrea.

Children selling fruits and baskets - Ghinda Eritrea.

Bus stop - Ghinda Eritrea.

Bus stop - Ghinda Eritrea.

Dogali bridge - just before Massawa Eritrea.

Dogali bridge - just before Massawa Eritrea.

Road to Gurgusum and Hamasien Beaches - Massawa Eritrea.

Road to Gurgusum and Hamasien Beaches - Massawa Eritrea.

Bus terminal - Massawa Eritrea.

Bus terminal - Massawa Eritrea.

Seghen International Hotel - Massawa Eritrea.

Seghen International Hotel - Massawa Eritrea.
Telephone +2911 540029 - 540158 - 540516
Fax +2911 541166 P.O. Box 221 Massawa Eritrea.

Seghen International Hotel - Massawa Eritrea    Seghen International Hotel - Massawa Eritrea

Seghen International Hotel - Massawa Eritrea    Seghen International Hotel - Massawa Eritrea

Seghen International Hotel - Massawa Eritrea    Seghen International Hotel - Massawa Eritrea

Seghen International Hotel Massawa Eritrea
Tel. +2911 540029 - 540158 - 540516
Fax +2911 541166 P.O. Box 221 Massawa Eritrea.

Salt pans - View from my Seghen Hotel room window - Massawa Eritrea.

Salt pans - View from my Seghen Hotel room window - Massawa Eritrea.

Sighalet Cinema - Massawa Eritrea.

Sighalet Cinema - Massawa Eritrea.

 

 
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