Monday, 4 May 2009

Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

Wedged between the sand dunes of the Namib desert and the Atlantic is the strange little town of Swakopmund. The architecture is an eclectic mix of early 20th century buildings as well as funky 60ies and 70ies beach town. Swakopmund is stuck in time. But that's not the most surprising... With its sea side promenades, half-timbered homes, colonial era buildings, it seems that only the wind blown sand, the palm trees and cactuses distinguish Swakopmund from holiday towns along Germany's Baltic coast.

Swakopmund has a long German history and many German-Namibians still live here. The list of sponsors for the kitchen extension of the local Youth centre for example, reads like a who is who of small town Germany:

Many street names are German: Bahnhof, Schlachter or Mittel Strasse. There are heaps of Bäckereien and Konditoreien where you can eat Apfelstrudel, Kugelhopf, Mohnkuchen or Linzertorte. Then there's the Hansa brewery, the Bismarck pharmacy and Café Anton with the low hanging curtains Germans love so much. In many ways it feels more German than Germany.

I was giggling last night when I had dinner at a great no frills sea food restaurant overhearing an elderly German tourist complaining about the lack of curtains in the restaurant "it's too loud here, curtains would make a big difference absorbing the noise".

It's a really strange, but quaint little town. And frankly a great treat after a few days roughing it out in the desert. Plus, nothing beats a Savannah Cider sitting on the beach watching the sun set over the Atlantic.


Thomas Wiegold 16 May 2009 at 09:15  

Don't forget to stock up medication etc. in Adler-Apotheke. Think it's on Kaiserstrasse, or was that Moltkestrasse?

Barbara 16 May 2009 at 09:20  

That's right, saw that one too... funny little place.

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