Asmera . nl  
 
Eritrea November 2009
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 2009
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
             
  01 02 03 04 05 06
07 08 09 10 11 12 13
15 15 16 17 18 19 20
22 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      
Next page >> << Previous
November & December 2009
A warm winter in Eritrea
 

 

Massawa - December 2 2009

 

The air-conditioning and the fan blades took care of a perfect nights rest in spite of the high temperatures (30C), even at night. In this climate I do not need the blankets. After a shower, I get dressed, finish my notes, and make my plan for today.

In the early morning I leave the Seghen International Hotel to find some breakfast in a restaurant near the Torino Hotel in the old town (port district). It is a two kilometer walk, passing two causeways connecting the Batse and Tualud with the mainland.

The old town looks deserted. Many of its inhabitants left, because there is no work available, and business is down. The economic crises, and "the situation" with neighbor Ethiopia hit Massawa very hard and deprived its economy. Many of the restaurants that were famous for their fish dishes have been closed, unable to survive on a few tourists.

Muddy rain pools on empty streets occupied by some screaming black birds is all that is left of the once charming port district

Now the port area it is mostly used by government workers and some business men who have their clearing or import & export offices close to the port area.

This part of town suffered terrible damage at the end of the 30 year war of liberation. Compared to my last visit more damaged buildings have been removed, and some others have been rebuild or are being rebuild in the original Turko-Egyptian style.

I spend the morning walking through the alleys, moving from bar to bar, drinking mineral water on the pavement cafés. I meet a truck driver who offers me a ride in his truck to Asmara. His offer comes to early, so I have to refuse.

In the restaurant opposite to the Torino Hotel I have an eggburger for lunch.

After some rest in my hotel I visit the small Southern Red Sea National Museum in the Massawa Housing Complex. I have to wait until 16:00 for the museum to open. I am the only guest, and a guided tour is part of the entrance fee. A young man, probably a student explains what is exhibited in the five sections of the museum.

Section one is about the Red Sea bird- and sea life. Section two is about the history of human evolution. Section three is a display of ancient Dahlak and Adulis. Section four is devoted to the nationalities of Eritrea, and section five is about the 1961-91 war of liberation.

The last section on the liberation struggle is the most interesting. "We were unable to buy weapons, so we stole them from the enemy, and defeated them with their own arms" the student proudly explains.

When we pass a model of the terrain in the Filfil area, the student explains: "Here the road was so narrow, that the Ethiopian troops could only move in one direction. We attacked the first vehicles and destroyed them. The remaining convoy got struck behind the wrecks. The soldiers fled, leaving lots of military hardware. The Ethiopian Air Force had to bomb its own supplies to prevent that the EPLF took it all."

I ask if I can make some pictures. Unfortunately it is not allowed.

 

The causeway to the port area - Batse port area Massawa Eritrea.

The causeway to the port area - Batse port area Massawa Eritrea.

Batse Island (old town) - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Batse Island (old town) - Massawa Eritrea.

Massawa port - Batse port area Massawa Eritrea.

Massawa port - Batse port area Massawa Eritrea.

Ruins of a traditional house - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Ruins of a traditional house - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Restored old city - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Restored old city - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Restored old city - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Restored old city - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Restoration in progress - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Restoration in progress - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Sailing vessel "Marla" - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Sailing vessel "Marla" - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Main mosque - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Main mosque - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Restored old city - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Restored old city - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Traditional houses - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

Traditional houses - Batse Island Massawa Eritrea.

 

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