Thursday, May 27, 2010

Windhoek – Welcome to Namibia

We safely arrived in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, situated in the central plateau, neatly squeezed in between the Kalahari & Namib Deserts. Door-to-Door it took us nearly 43 hours to get here, (including 24 hours in flight), and the first thing we did was sleep for a few hours before dragging ourselves out of bed to eat, after which we went straight back to bed. The down side of travelling to the other side of the world is the jet-lag, and consequently I was awake again at 3:00am.

For our first night in Windhoek we stayed in a nice family run Guest House near the town centre, which apart from the obvious African furnishings, reminds me a lot of a typical Austrian ski chalet... After a very continental breakfast, we took a wander into town to see what was happening.

From the guidebooks I was expecting to find a sleepy little town, designed in a German architectural style, with churches and quaint coffee houses... What we found was a busy modern city, complete with high-rise hotels and office building, and the ubiquitous shopping centres. Imagine our surprise in finding Woolworths, KFC and even a Cash Convertors. Don’t get me wrong, there were still a few quaint old buildings with a heavy German influence, but Windhoek is a bustling little place, indicative of the progressive direction of Namibia as a whole.

We spent the day taking in a few of the more touristy sites, including the “Christchurch” church, (sounds familiar...?), Post Street Mall, and the Parliament buildings and gardens. We got back to the guesthouse in time to sit on the terrace, drink a few beers and watch the sun drop over the distant mountains.

For dinner, Fiona wanted to check out a place called “Joe’s Beerhouse”, which is pretty famous for its ‘Game’ menu. Now when I think of ‘Game’ I think of venison, duck, and pheasant, but here in Africa, ‘Game’ means the sort of animals I have only ever seen in the Zoo. So Fiona had a Gemsbok steak, (a type of antelope), and I had the Bushmans Kebab, which consisted of Crocodile, Ostrich, Gemsbok, Eland and one other exotic animal I can’t remember the name of. What a way to get a taste of Africa.

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