Mohammed Al-Nasser, a Saudi tourist visited Eritrea in the 1960s. Following his trip to the country, he published a journal entitled “The Tour through the Green Africa”. On his book, Mohamed wrote his impressions, and what he has witnessed on his visit to the country. Following his trip to the port city of Massawa, he travelled to Keren, and here is what he wrote in his book about his trip to the Keren town:
August 23, 1964
It was 6 o’clock in the morning when we boarded the bus that took us to Keren. Here, unlike the trip to Massawa almost all the passengers are Eritreans.
The landscape is spectacular. “Every inch of land is covered with green vegetation. The weather accompanying the green plains and the drifting rainfall makes the journey quiet adventurous,” Mohammed wrote in his book. He further wrote, “The huge mountains, valleys with the winding roads make the trip quite unique from many other trips. The changing landscapes from hills to plains, from valleys to vast meadows where one can witness livestock grazing add beauty to the scenery.”
Not only the landscape but also the road in a middle of hills also makes the journey to Keren extraordinary. On the way to Keren, Mohammed indicated that, he found a vegetable and fruits garden that used to export fruits and vegetables to Saudi Arabia and Israel.
“ when we are about to reach the Keren town we saw many inhabitants of the area in a donkey or camel back while others are on foot pulling the camel or donkey. Such scenario is more related to the Arab people’s lifestyle, and around this area not only the lifestyle but also the two languages spoken, Tigre and Tigrinya have dialects similar to the Arabic language.
The town of Keren is clean and very nice; along with the trees in both sides of each road. The city have nice Panorama, and “in the 7 hours I stayed in Keren I have quality time, and in the markets there are a number of fruits with a very cheap price,” said Mohammed. He continued to describe the livestock market in the town and the prices of the animals. He wrote in his book “The Tour through the Green Africa”, “The price of a goat in the market, and a breakfast in a cafeteria is the same, as a result one can buy a goat and have it for breakfast.”
The traditional houses along with the modern houses and the art-deco of the city make you prophesy that the town soon will become a tourism center in the region. After our visit in the town of Keren, I continued my journey to the town of Agordat.
To be continued….