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TRIPS to MASSAWA,
with headquarters guys first, then alone, last with receiver site guys in an Army truck

Edition of  May 17, 2008

First long view as one begins 7000 plus foot descent on road to Massawa after leaving Asmara. Water in foreground is a reservoir. next scene in descent, distant village with chapel CIAAO Hotel, Massawa, favorite spot for Americans at $2.50 per night. Truck is a weekend loan from U.S. Army Special Services. I recall lizards hunting flies on the lighted sign above the door. CIAAO stands for Compagnia Immobiliare Alberghi Africa Orientale
CIAAO Hotel pool, Massawa, '54 From right to left, Ty Curtis, Hugh Gourley, ?, guy went to Swarthmore, taught U of Maryland courses,?, ?. I took the pic.
Pool depth tapered from two to twenty feet. Signore Guiseppe Neex, relaxing, having major philosophical thoughts, engendered by the historical aura of the scene?  CIAAO HOTEL MASSAWA ERITREA, left to right; Ed Norris(seated), Charlie Campbell, Art Molinair(in front with hat & bottle), Allen Miles white t-shirt, cuffed leavis to the left of him,  Pete Shunk (leaning back in chair).Photo from Ed Norris.
From the front porch, dining room of the Primevera Pensione, view back towards mainland White building is 'The Palace', government district headquarters for the district Beyond lies a vast coastal flatland with almost no vegetation. Odd size freighter. On right are 2 new powerful Ethiopian Navy diesel tugs built in Holland. Tugs' Dutch chief was under 6 months training contract but said encountering slow technical learning he might need two years. Shortly after our meeting, he took one tug up the coast to Port Sudan for training. Background shows large large military post of Italian and American construction occupied by Ethiopian army and navy. 
Mound of salt in front of its processing plant, Massawa's prime export; nearby flats covered with salt pools.  U.S submarine I visited a couple of times during it's stay in Massawa. Massawa Annual Gran Prix, 'Il Gran Concorso' non-contact racing, two new Fiat l100's 'Millicentri' competing fiercely, Massawa fire department in foreground. On far right are an American owned Ford sedan and jeep. Throughout the race locals trudged past barricades carrying loads of wood, grain, skins, etc., to market. One woman crossed 100 yards in front of an advancing storm of snorting Fiats, Volkswagons and Renaults. New Afa Romeo sedan with exceptional acceleration, endurance and handling won the heavy sedan class and did well in the open class until driver fatigue caused him to quit. Followed closely by an Opel which he lapped several lines since it could not hold a line in corners. At this point the Alfa is about to snap into second gear, wind up its overhead cams engine, raise its front end and disappear down the mile straight.
Sharpest corner showing the open class, race equipped Afa Romeo and Lancia engines. Track temperature well over 100 with similar humidity, causing enough 'gomme' (rubber)left on this corner to make a tire. Police headquarters on the right. - - -
"Such urban centers had a provision of separate blocks of defense personnels, artisans and markets. Places such as Kubkub, Tigu, Sa'ati, Segheneyti, Assab, Massawa, Mendefera, Keren, Akurdat developed like this. Massawa and Kubkub have Turkish, Tigu has Turko Egyptian and Keren has Egyptian architecture. There are two forts on either side of the river at Segheneyti. On the contrary at Se'ati, there is a large fort in the hills near Dongolo.
Medieval towns grew along caravan routes. The system of arrangement followed the pattern of markets, defense sites and staging posts or resting grounds. Major routes, were 1) Massawa-Ghedghed Shieb-Keren-Agordat-Kassala 2) Massawa-Sa'ati-Debarwa-Mendefera 3) Segheneyti-Adikeih-Senafe 4) Kassala-Teseney-Barentu-Mendefera-Debarwa."

(I forgot where I  got the above quote)



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