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May 2016
Celebrating Eritrea's
25th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
Eritrea - May 24 2016 - 25th Independence Day
25th Independence Day
 

 

Keren Eritrea May 28 2016 - The tour to & through Keren

 

The tour to Keren is delayed for some hours as a result of unfinished travel permits. At 11h30 we leave Asmara for our tour to Keren with the Oasis double cab. On our 90 kilometer ride to Keren we make some photo stops, passing magnificent highland landscapes, hairpin bended scenic roads descending from the Asmara plateau, patriotic paintings and small villages in the valleys and on the slopes of the hills with their typical cone shaped roof traditional houses. At 12 AM it starts to drizzle. It will rain all day until 5 PM when we are en route back to Asmara.

In Keren we first visit the Mariam Dearit Shrine where people are gathering for the yearly festival. A small chapel built into a huge baobab, surrounded by a large tree-lined park that breathes an atmosphere of tranquility. The Madonna of the Baobab is believed to have curative and spiritual powers. Pilgrims from all regions of Eritrea will visit the shrine for prayers and benediction, and folkloric interests. Women burn a candle, kneeling in front of, and in the tree, asking the Holy Mary to fulfill their request for healing, to be blessed with a child, or for peace. A Holy place where some collect some soil from the roots of the tree as it has a healing power.

 Daniel, the Oasis driver gives us a one hour tour through Keren with its diverse architecture: clear Italian influences, like the Italian governmental offices, the cinema, Albergo Cicilia  and the Senhit Hotel, villa's, schools and railway station (now a bus terminal) and the railway bridges, and the Giro Fiori. Traditional huts and square stone built houses. The souk district with the covered vegetable and fruit market and the many workshops, where tailors make kaftan's and colorful dresses, and women make and sell multi-colored baskets, and ceramic products.

Keren is one of the many Eritrean examples of peaceful coexistence of the four religious groups. One will find many mosques, as Islam is the dominant religion in Keren, but also Coptic Churches and a Coptic Cathedral, Catholic churches like the Saint Michael Church, the Saint Anthony Cathedral and a new Catholic Cathedral under construction, and several Evangelical Churches. You will not find Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Halls, or a Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, as they are regarded as very un-Eritrean and misfits to the current 'No war no peace situation'.

The strategic location of Keren resulted in fierce fighting in WW2, when the British were at war with Italy in East Africa. The many casualties are buried on the British and Italian cemeteries on the road to Agordat and Afabet. We take some time to visit both cemeteries. The British war cemetery with its partitions for the British, Hindu, and Jewish soldiers. The Italian cemetery with its partitions for the Italian and Eritrean soldiers. At the Italian cemetery we write some words in the guest book. Both cemeteries are perfectly maintained and the graves are surrounded by Bougainvillea.

 In front of  the Keren Hotel we have a short tea break.

At 4 PM we again visit the site of Mariam Dearit, but heavy rains make it very unattractive to leave the car, so we decide to return to Asmara earlier than planned. The rain stops, so we can have some photo stops to picture the beautiful landscapes when we pass Elabered and Elabered Estate, a large state owned farm, with its orange and fruit trees, and the Anseba riverbed.

   

Patriotic art work - Road from Asmara to Keren Eritrea.

Patriotic art work - Road from Asmara to Keren Eritrea.

Road from Asmara to Keren - Zoba Anseba Eritrea.

Road from Asmara to Keren - Zoba Anseba Eritrea.

Small village just before Keren - Keren Asmara road Eritrea.

Small village just before Keren - Keren Asmara road Eritrea.

Mariam Dearit holy grounds - Keren Eritrea.

Mariam Dearit holy grounds - Keren Eritrea.

Mariam Dearit holy grounds - Keren Eritrea.

Mariam Dearit holy grounds - Keren Eritrea.

Mariam Dearit Shrine of the Black Madonna - Keren Eritrea.

Mariam Dearit Shrine of the Black Madonna - Keren Eritrea.

Alnahda Elementary and Junior School - Keren Eritrea.

Alnahda Elementary and Junior School - Keren Eritrea.

 

Former administration of Keren - Keren Eritrea.

Former administration of Keren - Keren Eritrea.

Saint Michael Church - Keren Eritrea.

Saint Michael Catholic Church - Keren Eritrea.

 

British War Cemetery - Keren Eritrea.

British War Cemetery - Keren Eritrea.

Estifanos Cafe & Restaurant - Keren Eritrea.

Estifanos Cafe & Restaurant - Keren Eritrea.

Road to Dearit and Afabet - Keren Eritrea.

Road to Dearit and Afabet - Keren Eritrea.

Coptic Cathedral - Keren Eritrea.

Coptic Cathedral - Keren Eritrea.

Shops & Workshops - Keren Eritrea.

Shops & workshops - Keren Eritrea.

Italian war cemetery - Keren Eritrea.

Italian war cemetery - Keren Eritrea.

Evangelical Lutheran Church - Keren Eritrea.

Evangelical Lutheran Church - Keren Eritrea.

Cinema Impero - Keren Eritrea.

Cinema Impero - Keren Eritrea.

Commercial Bank of Eritrea - Keren Eritrea.

Commercial Bank of Eritrea - Keren Eritrea.

Camel transport - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

Camel transport - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

Lemon plantation - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

Lemon plantation - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

Elabered Estate - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

Elabered Estate - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

Landscape - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

Landscape - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

1961-1991 war memorial - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.

1961-1991 war memorial - Road to Asmara Keren Eritrea.


This tour was prepared and sponsored by:

Oasis Travel & Tour Agency Asmara

Oasis Travel & Tour Agency Asmara.

 


 

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence - 28-05-2016 Hamburg Germany.

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence
28-05-2016 Hamburg Germany.

 

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence - 28-05-2016 Los Angeles CA USA.

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence
28-05-2016 Los Angeles CA USA.

 

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence - 28-05-2016 Washington DC USA.

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence
28-05-2016 Washington DC USA.

 

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence - 28-05-2016 Karlsruhe Germany.

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence
28-05-2016 Karlsruhe Germany.

 

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence - 28-05-2016 Johannesburg South Africa.

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence
28-05-2016
Johannesburg South Africa

 

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence - 28-05-2016 Mannheim Germany.

Eritrea's Silver Jubilee of Independence
28-05-2016 Mannheim Germany.

 

 2016 Eritrean Independence Day in Ottawa Canada, Doha Qatar, Geneva Swiserland, Seatle USA and Pisa and Firenze Italy. 2016 Eritrean Independence Day in Ottawa Canada, Doha Qatar, Geneva Switserland, Seatle USA, Pisa Italy, Firenze Italy.

 

 
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