Asmara to Massawa by Rail

The third class train rounding the mountain above Python Valley.

The sun was just coming up that February morning. The fog, though not thick, laid like a blanket between the buildings and the tree tops. I could taste the smell of wood smoke in the still, damp air. Wes and I boarded the post bus and watched a waking Asmara pass by as we road through town to the east end of Haile Selassie I Avenue. We got off the bus and walked the last two blocks to the train station.

The littorina

We paid for our ticket to Massawa and headed for the platform. A steam engine stood puffing quietly on the second of three tracks. Just before the platform the "train" we were taking to Massawa stood on the first track. The single-car train with streamlined silver sides and large flat windows looked more like a trolley car than a train. It was a Fiat Littorina, our transportation. ...

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Copyright © 2002-2006 Mike Metras

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