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April 25, 2002

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Last day in Eritrea, we spend it in Asmara which has become a favorite city. We agree with those that say this is the cleanest, safest, and coziest capital city in Africa. It's small town Europe, many outdoor cafes, people in European clothes and suits, nostalgic charm brought out by Art Deco architecture, Centocinque taxis, and prices that bring you back to the fifties. The only problem with Eritrea lies with the logistics of leaving. It's hard to find a way out. It takes weeks to get a Sudanese visa (we've given up on our efforts), and the other land borders with Ethiopia and Djibouti remain closed. Flights leave once a week to other destinations; Asmara's airport must be the sleepiest capital city airport in Africa.
Eritreans wear white, not black, to church.
Visit Eritrea and you're sure to be invited to someone's house for coffee.
Eritrea's landscape holds few trees, stark beauty.