Travelogue: A trip to the unusual destination of Eritrea

When I went to get a visa to visit in London, they asked me why I wanted to go. Why would a white lady of uncertain years WANT to go there alone?

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Travelogue: A trip to the unusual destination of Eritrea

As I settled down for dinner in the 1930s Italian-built hotel in Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, I asked for a glass of wine. Local wine. Oh no, they protested, we only stock box-wine. Box-wine from where I asked. South Africa, they replied, rushing in with two boxes of Stellenbosch vintage. They poured me a glass, full to the top, about twice as much as a bar or hotel anywhere else in the world.

“Good taste,” they muttered. It might have come a long way, God knows how, as there’s no communication between Eritrea and South Africa. Unless it comes with the mineworkers from Southern Africa who sail up the east coast to Eritrea to work.

Travelogue: A trip to the unusual destination of Eritrea