Personal street wanderings and memories.
I'd never been to Africa and purposely choose not to read up Eritrea before visiting. I was aware of the war and that it was off the beaten path however I wanted to discover the place for myself, feeling that too much knowledge would remove that sense of discovery and restrict or misguide what is to be experienced first hand. Eritrea for me was a visual feast. Such a diverse landscape and topography between the highlands and lowlands. Altitude ranges from 0 to 3,300 meters above the sea level all with in a three-hour drive from the capital, which is on a plateau at 2,325 meters. You can experience three different climate zones. Asmara the capital is vibrant and rich with life. Architecture from it's country's past as an Italian colony is around every corner, there are many buildings of interest, like the various cafes and old stores. It’s the mixed bag of influences from Turkish, Egyptian and Italian that makes a very unique experience. Upon heading out of the city to the edges of the plateau the landscape drops away below you and is truly breathtaking. Venturing down the winding tarmac roads you pass through tropical landscapes, bushland and then out into arid desert, all the while people and villages constantly changing until you reach the red sea coast and the port of Massawa. I enjoyed the places between cities and towns, the deserted roads and mountain passes, hairpin bends, small stores, rest places and tiny villages. All of these are normally past by quickly and then forgotten however, for me they held a sense of attraction and curiosity.