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Published: August 17th 2016
Our final full day in Namibia, we spent a couple of hours this morning looking around Swakopmund with a bit of shopping for a few gifts. It's always a shame to leave Swakopmund and I think it's my favourite town in Africa and we were so lucky with our beach front apartment.
The journey from Swako to Windhoek is all tar roads and fairly uneventful apart getting used to other traffic on the roads, which slowly builds as you approach the capital. It's surprising how quickly you get used to no traffic and it comes as a shock when you have to start looking out for other drivers as well. At one stage we saw a car coming towards us with flags in it saying 'abnormale'. We didn't think anything of it, as we had already passed several slightly wide loads but then a police car suddenly overtook the cars in front of it and came directly towards us flashing its lights and indicated that we should leave the carriageway. Just in time we did, as it was followed by a lorry with a huge earth mover that took up both lanes (we were not on a dual carriageway)!
We have spent the afternoon looking around the city, something we did not have time to do on our previous visit. Much of the older city architecture is German in style and shows its colonial roots. After finding our way back to the main car park we last used four years ago, we headed off to the Christians Church which is located on a traffic island so getting to it on foot is a challenge but we made it across the two lanes of traffic safely. Inside is a large memorial plaque to all of the German soldiers that died during the war against the Herero tribe in 1904, this led to the Herero genocide where the Herero people were driven into the Namib desert and where they died of starvation and thirst. The German army also used concentration camps during this conflict where large numbers died. It may seem maudlin mentioning this but earlier in our holiday I saw newspaper articles about the Herero people wanting more than an apology from the German government.
After the Christians Church we looked at the state house and the amazing liberation museum that follows the history of Namibia through to its
liberation: I have heard it referred to in South Africa as the Bush War. This was a long and bitter conflict and the legacy of the war still lives on in Angola where land mines used by both sides still pose a huge threat to the people that live there. The building itself is stunning with the first floor being at least 90 feet up via a lift on the outside of the building. You can see the whole city 360 degrees from the restaurant on the fourth floor, but the view from the lift was high enough for me.
We finished our last evening with a lovely meal at a Mediterranean restaurant The Social, just down the road from our guest house. It's been a great trip and we start the long journey home tomorrow.
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