… with a shot of Cuba Libre !
A huge painting in the lobby of the Asmara Palace Hotel demonstrates modern Eritreans’ long fight for freedom – from Ethiopia – and their affinity with communist Cuba.
The EPLF fighters famously wore sandals which even received a 5 meter high monument at Shida (Sandal) Square. Now the sculpture is gone … for good, because I hate sandals! (Old foto: Asmara Travel)
I prefer the stylish remnants of Eritreas flirt with modern razionalismo Italy in the 1930s. It is fair to say that Eritrea (“red country”) was conceived by Italians (see Italian Eritrea from 1890 to 1947) and that Asmara (“Piccolo Roma”) was built from scratch by Italians.
Like the Fiat Tagliero petrol station, now defunct (of course) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The IRGA Garage building was built in 1961. A late example of Futurismo Novecento Italiano and Art Deco architecture.
How about pizza, pasta and a cappucino at Bar Zilli?
Albergo Italia (built in 1897) has definitely seen better days. There is almost no running water, no working TV or WIFI, no service.
Defunct Cinema Roma
La Dolce Vita is over
A tell-all door sign at the Asmara Palace (the only decent hotel in town, formerly an Interconti and a Hilton). Socialism never works! That’s why there are so many Eritrean “refugees” in Europe. The largest group of foreign engineers at Mercedes-Benz in Stuttgart are in fact Eritreans.
There are many Eritrean Orthodox and some Italian Catholic churches in the country which coexist peacefully with about 5% Muslims. Radical splinter groups (which are usually foreign-sponsored subversives) like evangelicals, jehovas, wahhabis, gülens, etc. are forbidden in Eritrea.
The infamous Tank Graveyard on Asmara’s outskirts. I didn’t bother to get the official entry permission. (Foto: Asmara Travel)
Former freedom fighter and longtime president Isaias Afewerki is said to have an iron grip on the isolated country, however you will hardly see him in public life. There is certainly not a visible personality cult here, or a visible police state, like in other communist states. And he is certainly not a certified war monger and torture satan, like the known-unknown Western guy on the foto (Wikipedia), despite our mainstream agitprop media telling us exactly the opposite.
Ciao! Ciao! Brioni Travel Jacket salutes Fiat Tagliero Square. This was my last country to tick off of the United Nations member list. After having seen so many UN-cultures and NON-cultures, I am glad to live in the CRADLE OF CULTURE (The Central European Axis: Germany, France, Italy, Greece, West Turkey) and will dedicate my future travel “Dem Wahren, Schönen, Guten”.
The best part of my Eritrea trip was the quick Egypt Air Stopover in Cairo. Sunrise breakfast and cigar with a magic view from the Mena House Hotel onto the Great Pyramids of Giza. It is my fair guess that whoever brought such a ̶c̶̶o̶̶l̶̶o̶̶n̶̶i̶̶a̶̶l̶ cultural highlight to Africa was not from that continent.