Last night was the Captain’s cocktail party – here are some shots of us and our friends in the Horizons lounge before dinner.
Now we are on our way up the west coast of Africa where we have 10 ports of call. This will be an adventure most people don’t have and especially on cruise ships as many of the countries are not yet ready for this tourism. There have been many scheduled excursions cancelled and the destinations staff says they don’t even get their calls and emails to the touring companies answered in some locations. In fact today we were supposed to be anchored and tendered into the port, but they now have an area for our size ship to dock. That’s always a good thing because when we tender it takes much longer. Most cruise lines do not do this exotic itinerary and we are looking forward to it.
Our first of the 10 ports of call is Luderitz, Namibia. We didn’t book an organized tour today as they only had three to offer so Norm and I set out with Charlie and Ellen. Shortly into the walk into town, Norm wasn’t feeling well so he returned to the ship and relaxed for the day. He’s better as I write this.
The coastline and water is beautiful and there are penguins, dolphins, sharks and seals here – I only saw the penguins.
Luderitz was founded in 1883 by a wealthy German merchant of the same name. I was so surprised to see the colorful colonial architecture and took lots of pictures as you can see.
We walked along the coastline, climbed the rocks and walked all through the town and we visited the Felsenkirche, the Evangelical Lutheran church that dominates the town from high on Diamond Hill. It was designed by Albert Bause who implemented the Victorian influences that he’s seen in the Cape. With assistance from donors in Germany, construction began in 1911 and was completed the following year. The stained glass panel over the altar was donated by Kaiser Wilhelm II while the Bible was a gift from his wife.
Next we went to the Goerke Haus. This house is huge and blends into the rockface it is built on. It was originally the home of Lieutenant Hans Goerke and constructed in 1910. There are beautiful stained glass panels and the whole house is beautifully restored with the period furniture. It is still used as a guest house. The boom around that time was due to the discovery of diamonds in the nearby Namib desert.
There are lots of interesting Art Nouveau buildings here and it was a beautiful day to explore. We spent time in the Museum which highlighted Germany’s colonization efforts, the diamond industry and the flora and fauna. and I was interested to see the inside of a termite mound (there are thousands of them in the game reserves) as well as the jewelry made from parts of ostrich eggs. I bought a bracelet.
We always like to see the inside of supermarkets. So, guess what.. they have ShopRite here. The woman was so surprised when I asked if I could take a photo of her bag!
And now back to the ship and on to Walvis Bay, Namibia.