March 31 2023
There is a “Sing Out Loud” group of passengers that practices on sea days, and last evening was their first performance. It was really wonderful. The group is made up of a lot of around the world cruisers but segment travelers can join too. It will continue practice and do several more concerts before we leave in July. Norm may decide to join. Our friend, Charlie, is in the group. Here are a picture of the whole group and one with Charlie in the middle.
Here are some pictures of our arrival.
Our tour today was Swakopmund Sightseeing. We drove through Walvis Bay and we remembered how much we liked the city in 2015 when we were here last. It is very clean and modern. Our guide was Eddie and he described Namibia as a very peaceful country, but with high unemployment. The population of Walvis Bay is about 100,000. The most lucrative occupation is working in the mines.
Walvis Bay’s English name is Whale Bay. It is the second largest city in Namibia and the largest coastal city in the country. The harbor is a safe haven for sea vessels because it is a natural deep water harbor.
There is a large German influence here and Swakopmund has many buildings that look like they came straight out of Germany.
The area we drove through, called the Lagoon, has the homes of many wealthy people, and later we drove by the townships as they are called, where the poor people of the area live. There is still a difference in class here. The whole area is spotlessly clean and very different from the other west African ports we visited.
Our first stop was at the Walvis Bay Lagoon, home to many greater and lesser flamingos. Our friends in the trivia group on board told us that the name for a gathering of flamingos is called a flamboyance!
We drove on to Swakopmund and there we first visited the Kristall Galerie. The world’s largest Quartz crystal cluster is on display here. We didn’t really know what to expect, but it was a beautiful place, many examples of crystals of all types and lots of beautiful jewelry. Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to decide on buying anything, so we just enjoyed walking around and admiring it all.
After that we went to the Swakopmund museum. We really enjoyed that too. The displays were nicely arranged and highlighted the history of the city. Here are a few pictures. The huge basket was used in the past to lower people off of boats. Looks dangerous to me! There were vendors set up along the street near and across from the museum. Eddie told us that these vendors are Himbas (related to the Massai) and that the women would be bare breasted. We saw many who were also nursing children. The Himbas were originally hired as housekeepers for the wealthy Germans. The men started to fool around with them, so the decision for the ones that wanted to keep their jobs was to wear German clothing including huge hats. The ones who wouldn’t wear the clothing stayed natural and bare breasted.
We visited the Brauhaus Arcade, a shopping plaza where I bought some wooden bowls. As you can tell by the name, it has a lot of beer bars.
Our last stop was Dune 7, part of the Namibian desert. It is named because it looks like a 7 from the air. Last time we were here we climbed the dune. This time we only walked a short distance but watched others climb to the top. We can see the large sand dunes from where our ship is anchored.
We are here overnight, so we are happy that there are restaurants close enough to the ship so that our crew can enjoy a night out.
Amazing traditions. Would be fun to experience. Trip sounds amazing. Enjoy
Thanks for the trip down memory lane for we too climbed Dune 7 in Swartkopmund. Such a well preserved town.