Lined with palms, Harnet Avenue is the main street through the centre of Asmara, and the ideal place to start exploring the city.
Here you will find some of the most impressive pieces of Italian colonial architecture, the best restaurants and cafeterias, and some major banks, hotels, and cinemas.
This beautiful building is now unfortunately so tightly guarded you can't even walk close to it! :-(
It is at the end of the road between the white house to the left and the park to the right.
This is about as much as you will see, which is a real shame, as it looks like a real architectural gem.
It is just off the western end of Harnet Avenue.
Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin mosque is located in Peace Street, near the covered markets in the center of Asmara. The name Al Khulafa Al Rashiudin means "Followers of the Right Path". There is a square in front of the mosque paved with blocks of dark stone arranged in geometrical patterns. The mosque was built in 1938.
The recycling yard is a wonderful example of how we in the first world should be doing things.
Tin cans made into coffe pans, wood, metal, shoes from car tyres, leather/fabrics...............in fact anything that can be re-used, or made into something that can, ends up here.
The yard is full of all sorts of discarded products that have been collected and then brought here to be re-fashioned and given a new lease of life.
Shoppers come here to purchase the goods, which provide a cheaper and greener option to the goods for sale in the shops.
The old steam railway line runs from Asmara to Massawa, on the red sea coast and uses the original old trains and track. The journey takes you through the beautiful mountain scenery and traditional villages.
The line was built between 1873 and 1911 by the Italians and was restored in 2003. The original drivers, signalmen and railway workers were got out of retirement to run the trains.
It's a great way to see the countryside.
The trip was organised by the Railway Touring Company in the UK who specialise in rail trips throughout the world.
The tank graveyard is a very large piece of overgrown land containing all the tanks that Eritrea captured from Ethiopia during the war. They are literally piled up on top of each other, rusting and abandoned. This place is a fabulous museum of recent history - it is obvious the tanks will remain here but are kept as a testament to Eritrea's determination to be an independant free nation.
Interesting to British visitors, well, our group, was the old MG midget next to the tanks.
There are no explanations on the site or the tanks and this is probably not an official tourist site, as we were shouted at by a couple who live in a disused railway carriage on the site, but is certainly worth a look.
Nda Mariam, Asmara's Orthodox Cathedral is dedicated to St. Mary (the mother of god), and is located in the center of Asmara. The building has two soaring towers and an impressive mosaic structure showing religious scenes done by the Italian painter Nenne Sanguineti Poggi.
The Eritrean people are religious. It's interesting to see so many people gathering together in the middle of the day to pray. They are standing around the church, with their traditional clothes.
The Cathedral of Asmara is located in Harnet Avenue, just in the center of Asmara. It is one of the most prominent landmarks in Eritrea. The 52 meter tall Gothic bell tower is visible everywhere in the city, and is a useful landmark if you ever lose your sense of direction. The chursch was build in 1922.
The outdoor spice market sells all kind of spices, stacked in big sacks on the stalls. The smell is fabulous, and they look really colourful.
The food market, which is indoors, is also worth a visit. There are some quite unmentionable pieces of meat on display! But also the fruit and vegetables are interesting for their variety and quality. The highlands must have good soil to grow all these. Most of the stall holders are friendly and willing to show you their goods on display and explain what they are.
Godaif is a poor area of Asmara. It takes 5 minutes to drive with taxi from Asmara center. The place has wide streets without asphalt paving. The houses here are mainly build of brick and stone. The big Asmara Textile factory is located in this part of the city.
The Fiat Tagliero petrol station is a futurist style architechture completed in 1938, and designed by the Italian architect Giuseppe Pettazzi. It is designed like an aeroplane. The building has a central tower which is the office space, cashiers desk and shop. And two 15 meter concret wings.
It is one of the most famous buildings in Asmara, and has been described as "the best example of futurist architecture" in Africa. The location is close to the center of the city. A "must see" if you are in Asmara.
Semaetat avenue is wide road road with 4 lanes. It's the main road out from Asmara center in direction to the airport. The area around is one of the most wealthy areas in Asmara. The government buildings and president palace is located close to this road. Some nice restaurants are located her and also Roma Cinema.
Kidane Meheret is the church of Oriental Christian rite. It has walls which feature Madonna of Perpetual Help and the nine monks that christianized the highlands of Eritrea. It is located close to Shuk, the central market.
Hidden from view from Harnet Avenue by the vegetable & meat market, the Great Mosque is the focal point of the Muslim community.
Nearby are several Muslim restaurants, and typically Muslim-run businesses, notably jewellery shops.
Back on Harnet Avenue, one of the most impressive buildings in the city is the 1920 Opera House. It could do with a facelift, but is beautiful all the same. It currently houses the National Theatre of Eritrea.