Ktl-icon-tai-lieu

Eritrea

Được đăng lên bởi ke-toan
Số trang: 39 trang   |   Lượt xem: 2543 lần   |   Lượt tải: 0 lần
© Lonely Planet Publications
292



Eritrea

SNAPSHOT ERITREA

On the bright side, unlimited opportunities for off-the-beaten-track exploration abound.
Who knew that Asmara, the capital, boasts the most shining collection of colonial architectural wonders in Africa? It is like a set from an early Italian movie, with vintage Italian coffee
machines and outstanding examples of Art Deco architecture. On the Red Sea coast, the sultry
town of Massawa is redolent with Islamic influence. It is also the starting point for visits to
the Dahlak Islands, one of the least-spoilt and least-known reefs in the Red Sea.
Southern Eritrea features a superb array of archaeological sites that tell volumes of history.
The Sahel Mountains in the north, for a long time the home of the guerrilla fighters, have
a wild and bleak quality. The apocalyptic wasteland of Dankalia, stretching to the south, is
considered one of the most arresting places on Earth and has a desolate magnetism. Eritrea’s
nine colourful ethnic groups are diverse and individual, and are a major highlight.
Isn’t that enough? Although the country faces numerous hardships, it also remains one
of Africa’s most peaceful, secure and welcoming destinations. Once you’ve set foot there,
your heart will be broken. You’ve been warned!

HIGHLIGHTS
Refine the art of sipping a macchiato
on Harnet Ave before gazing at Italian
colonial architecture in Asmara (p308)
Get lost in the maze of narrow streets on
Massawa Island (p340)
Hike joyously upward to the monastery
of Debre Libanos (p335), near Senafe
Speculate on Eritrea’s mysterious past at
Qohaito’s ruins (p333)

Dahlak Islands
Massawa
Asmara
Qohaito

Be a guest of the many fish that live
in the colourful corals off the Dahlak
Islands (p346)
Feel like a National Geographic explorer
and travel to the ends of Earth, destination
the Mars-like wasteland of Dankalia (p350)
Enjoy the smug feeling of having the whole country to yourself!

Monastery of
Debre Libanos

Dankalia

paranoia. Every outside influence is viewed
with suspicion. Western NGOs and UN
staff? ‘Ants that undermine the stability
of the country’ – the nasty beasts were arbitrarily expelled in 2005. The BBC correspondent – the last Western journalist
based in the country – is only tolerated.
No wonder that the sense of isolation is
overwhelming. Foreigners feel like they are
setting foot on another planet.
Is it all that grim, though? Paradoxically,
visitors feel very safe and most welcome as
lo...
ERITREA
www.lonelyplanet.com SNAPSHOT ERITREA
ERITREA
SNAPSHOT ERITREA
‘I can’t afford milk for my children.’ ‘Tef
has become outrageously expensive.’ ‘We
all ride bicycles because fuel is restricted
and too expensive,’ Eritreans confess in
plaintive whispers. Today Eritrea is not
exactly in wonderland. The country has
one of the most restrictive economies on
the planet, and it’s in a morass. The state
has taken control of all private companies.
Power cuts, food shortages, skyrocketing
prices and rationing of staples are the order
of the day. Eritreans have refined the art of
belt-tightening and suffer in near silence. In
2003, 1kg of meat cost Nfa20, 1kg of sugar
was Nfa5, and they were easily available.
Today they cost Nfa98 and Nfa20 respec-
tively and Eritreans have to wait in queues
at state-run stores to get their monthly ra-
tion or buy them on the black market.
As if that was not enough, freedom of
speech is nonexistent. According to the
US-based Committee to Protect Journal-
ists, Eritrea is one of the world’s leading
jailers of journalists. A heroic guerrilla
commander, President Isaias Afewerki has
metamorphosed into a stereotypical dicta-
tor, quashing hopes for democracy in the
name of ‘protecting national security’. He
has curbed civil liberties, shut down Eri-
trea’s free press and jailed domestic dis-
senters. The end result? Eritrea has won the
less-than-enviable sobriquet of ‘the North
Korea of Africa’.
Today reaching a final peace agreement
with Ethiopia is a pressing issue but both
President Isaias Afewerki and his Ethiopian
counterpart Meles Zenawi can’t relinquish
their fighter’s mentality, which partly ex-
plains the persistence of the senseless bor-
der conflict. ‘We want peace, we’re weary of
this never-ending war with Ethiopia, we just
want to live a normal life,’ lament Eritreans,
whose growing resentment against their
intransigent, mulish rulers is simmering. ‘I
have no future,’ deplores a female student,
whose sole ambition is to get pregnant as
quickly as possible to escape conscription
(incidentally, the army is also used as cheap
labour for construction works). In Eritrea,
the buzz word has long been ‘self-reliance’.
At first, this meant a sense of responsibil-
ity. Now this has transformed into utter
paranoia. Every outside influence is viewed
with suspicion. Western NGOs and UN
staff? ‘Ants that undermine the stability
of the country’ – the nasty beasts were ar-
bitrarily expelled in 2005. The BBC cor-
respondent – the last Western journalist
based in the country – is only tolerated.
No wonder that the sense of isolation is
overwhelming. Foreigners feel like they are
setting foot on another planet.
Is it all that grim, though? Paradoxically,
visitors feel very safe and most welcome as
long as they don’t interfere with politics.
Eritreans show an exceptional resilience
and have not abandoned their dreams of
a renaissance. To top it off, they have not
lost their appetite for life and Asmarans still
surrender to the daily ritual of passeggiata
(see p320 ). And they are still macchiato (es-
presso with a dash of milk) addicts. As one
Eritrean realistically puts it: ‘Governments
come and go, but the people stay the same.’
Eritrea will bounce back. The only question
that haunts the minds is: when?
HISTORY
IN THE BEGINNING
Eritrea’s earliest inhabitants are thought to
have been related to the Pygmies of Central
Africa. Later, they intermingled with Nil-
otic, Hamitic and finally Semitic peoples
migrating from across Africa and Arabia.
By around 2000 BC, close contacts had
been established with the people of the Nu-
bian lowlands to the west and those from
the Tihama coast of southern Arabia to the
east. Some ruins in Eritrea are thought to
date from the pre-Aksumite Civilisation.
AKSUMITE CIVILISATION
Around the 4th century BC, the power-
ful kingdom of Aksum began to develop.
Situated in Tigray, in the north of modern
Ethiopia (around 50km from present-day
Eritrea), Aksum lay just 170km from the
Red Sea. Much foreign trade – on which
Aksum’s prosperity depended – was sea-
borne, and came to be handled by the an-
cient port of Adulis in Eritrea.
On the way to Adulis (a 12- to 15-day
journey from Aksum) many exports, in-
cluding rhinoceros horn, gold, hippopot-
amus hide, slaves, apes and particularly
Eritrea is a heartbreaker. It was once heralded as a good place for travelling and, with a bit
of luck, it could soon be so again. But as long as the country is at odds with its neighbour
Ethiopia (again!), its sworn enemy, tourism development won’t be a priority. One of the most
secretive countries in Africa, Eritrea seems doomed to remain a hidden gem.
On the bright side, unlimited opportunities for off-the-beaten-track exploration abound.
Who knew that Asmara, the capital, boasts the most shining collection of colonial architec-
tural wonders in Africa? It is like a set from an early Italian movie, with vintage Italian coffee
machines and outstanding examples of Art Deco architecture. On the Red Sea coast, the sultry
town of Massawa is redolent with Islamic influence. It is also the starting point for visits to
the Dahlak Islands, one of the least-spoilt and least-known reefs in the Red Sea.
Southern Eritrea features a superb array of archaeological sites that tell volumes of history.
The Sahel Mountains in the north, for a long time the home of the guerrilla fighters, have
a wild and bleak quality. The apocalyptic wasteland of Dankalia, stretching to the south, is
considered one of the most arresting places on Earth and has a desolate magnetism. Eritrea’s
nine colourful ethnic groups are diverse and individual, and are a major highlight.
Isn’t that enough? Although the country faces numerous hardships, it also remains one
of Africa’s most peaceful, secure and welcoming destinations. Once you’ve set foot there,
your heart will be broken. You’ve been warned!
Eritrea
HIGHLIGHTS
Refine the art of sipping a macchiato
on Harnet Ave before gazing at Italian
colonial architecture in Asmara ( p308 )
Get lost in the maze of narrow streets on
Massawa Island ( p340 )
Hike joyously upward to the monastery
of Debre Libanos ( p335 ), near Senafe
Speculate on Eritrea’s mysterious past at
Qohaito’s ruins ( p333 )
Be a guest of the many fish that live
in the colourful corals off the Dahlak
Islands ( p346 )
Feel like a National Geographic explorer
and travel to the ends of Earth, destination
the Mars-like wasteland of Dankalia ( p350 )
Enjoy the smug feeling of having the whole country to yourself!
Debre Libanos
Monastery of
Dankalia
Qohaito
Massawa
Asmara
Dahlak Islands
© Lonely Planet Publications
293292
Eritrea - Trang 2
Để xem tài liệu đầy đủ. Xin vui lòng
Eritrea - Người đăng: ke-toan
5 Tài liệu rất hay! Được đăng lên bởi - 1 giờ trước Đúng là cái mình đang tìm. Rất hay và bổ ích. Cảm ơn bạn!
39 Vietnamese
Eritrea 9 10 399