Asmera . nl  
 
Eritrea May 2016
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          
 
Eritrea June 2016
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      
next page previous
May 2016
Celebrating Eritrea's
25th Independence Day
 
Congratulations Eritrea
Eritrea - May 24 2016 - 25th Independence Day
25th Independence Day
 

 

Asmara Eritrea May 29 2016 - Steam strain trip to Arbaroba and the wedding in Tselot

 

If there is train ride from the Asmara railway station, than it is on Sunday morning 8 AM. And if not, than I will have to do one of the plan B activities, like a hike from Asmara station to Arbaroba, following the railway line for 15 kilometers. Ten days ago I explored the Arbaroba end of the hike to be sure to connect to the Massawa - Asmara asphalt road for the return trip by public bus. Today I will find out if I am lucky and find a train, or I am lucky and will do the three hours hike on foot.

At the railway station one of the locomotives is prepared for the trip. Eritrean railway staff carry sacks of coal to the train to fill its hungry belly. The locomotive is tested and the wheels are greased. The passengers are a group of tourists who chartered the train for a ride to Arbaroba. Among them I recognize Mr. Tekeste of Asmara Grande Travel Agency, one of the more experienced tour agencies in Asmara Eritrea. "Get in!" is his very short invitation when the passenger car is added in front of the Asmara railway station.

The 20 passengers I will join are exploring Eritrea with Young Pioneer Tours, a small tour operator based in China. Young Pioneer Tours organized their first trip to Africa: The Eritrea National Day Tour. The group came from all over the world as individuals to meet in Asmara for a one week program, that will be finished today.

At 9 AM the train leaves. During the 15 kilometer trip we cross beautiful sceneries, more than twenty tunnels, viaducts and bridges allowing shortcuts from one mountain edge to the other, following the edge of the mountain. People are waving to the train and its passengers. Children are trying to follow it when it passes their houses. 

In Arbaroba we have a one hour break. The Eritrean tour guide shows us the multi million liters sub-hill water cistern that both serves the (steam) train and the village, and the aquaduct feeding it. Back outside / up we are on top of the escarpment enjoying the magnificent views.

In one of the Arbaroba bars we have a Coke, and 30 minutes to explore the small village on the Asmara - Massawa road.

On our way back to Asmara the train makes some photo stops and technical stops, so we can leave the train to make pictures.

Back in Asmara one of the Asmara Grande tour guides tells me to wait for Mr. Tekeste, the Asmara Grande manager, who will pick me up in a few minutes. Mr Tekeste is accompanied by two visitors from Romania and Germany. I met them on Skype when they prepared their trip to Eritrea. Today we meet in Asmara. We are invited to the wedding of Selam and Dawid in Tselot, an Asmara suburb near Kahawta.

From the moment we enter the wedding, we are treated as special guests: "Asmara beer, or Coca Cola? Or do you want to try our suwa?" I will drink the suwa, and eat like an Eritrean, with my fingers. Tearing off small pieces and dipping them in the berbere sauce. The injera is shared with groups of eight persons, from a large plate. The large suwa cup is stored in a rack under the injera plate.

Our names are written in the guest book, that lists both the names and the financial contribution of the visitors. Think of at least 100 Nakfa. At the end of the marriage there will be another ceremony where the remaining guests can leave an anonymous donation in a colorful basket that is carried around during one of the last dances.

After the injera lunch Mr. Tekeste invites us to have ice cream in the best ice cream bar in town: Da Fortuna Gelato Italiano in Geza Banda. After the ice cream, Mr. Tekeste asks us where we want to go. I do not have to think long: back to the wedding! I do not want to miss the best part of it.

You have to be patient to witness an Eritrean wedding. We will have to wait until 4 PM for the bride and bridegroom to enter. From that moment on it is a joyful event with music, dance and traditions. The dance is usually opened by the women. The men follow after the opening dance. The men dance with the men, the women with the women. And it is usually the family of the bride and bridegroom that are the starters. They will challenge you to join them on the dance floor. And I am happy to accept the invitation.  The best way to enjoy the wedding is to participate in the dancing. The Eritreans will teach you the moves. The ambiance and the suwa will do the rest.

Around 6 PM the wedding ceremony ends with cake and sparkles, and the last dance sessions on the live music. I observes one of the female members of the Young Pioneer Tours group. She is clearly enjoying the dance, but I will challenge her to join it. Carefully I move her to the dancing brides maids, who adopt her happy in their group.

The bride and bridegroom leave the house in a white Chevrolet. I walk to the Ring Road and have a 15 Nakfa taxi back to the center of Asmara.

 

Shunting - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Shunting - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Loc 442-59 Born in 1938 and still going strong - Asmara railway station.

Loc 442-59 Born in 1938 and still going strong - Asmara railway station.

Adding the paseenger car - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Adding the passenger car - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Greasing the wheels - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Young Pioneer Tours group - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Young Pioneer Tours group - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Landscape - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Landscape - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Brakes man - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Brakes man - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Close to the cliffs - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Close to the cliffs - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Landscape - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Landscape - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Into the tunnel - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Into the tunnel - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

And out of course - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

And out of course - Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Soviet truck as maintenance train - Arbaroba railway station.

Soviet truck as maintenance train - Arbaroba railway station.

Steam train trip from Asmara to Arbaroba.

Water reservoir - Arbaroba railway station.

Water reservoir house - Arbaroba railway station.

Water reservoir house - Arbaroba railway station.

Aquaduct to water supply - Arbaroba railway station.

Aquaduct to water supply - Arbaroba railway station.

Traditional houses - Arbaroba Eritrea.

Traditional houses - Arbaroba Eritrea.

Fresh water for the train - Arbaroba railway station.

Fresh water for the train - Arbaroba railway station.

Back home - Steam train trip from Arbaroba to Asmara.

Back home - Steam train trip from Arbaroba to Asmara.

Photo stop on the bridge - Steam train trip from Arbaroba to Asmara.

Photo stop on the bridge - Steam train trip from Arbaroba to Asmara.

Our driver - Steam train trip from Arbaroba to Asmara.

Our driver - Steam train trip from Arbaroba to Asmara.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (entry) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

 

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (registration) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (suwa) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (banner) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (koboro) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (negotiation) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (dowry) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (priest) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (lunch) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (cake) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (live music) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

Wedding of Selam and Dawid (back home) - Tselot Asmara Eritrea.

 


This tour was prepared and sponsored by:

Asmara Grande Travel & Tour Agency Asmara   Young Pioneer Tours - China

Asmara Grande Travel & Tour Agency Asmara and Young Pioneer Tours Xi'an, China.

  

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