Approximately halfway between Asmara and Massawa lies Ghinda, an interesting
village in a little valley that, especially during the first months of the year,
is a sharp contrast to the dryness on much of the Asmara plateau, because it
traps the prevailing moisture from the coast, resulting in higher rainfall.
The Asmara - Massawa road turns left into the main street of Ghinda, crossing
a river. It was always a favorite spot for Italian residents not least because
the rain and fertile soil made it, and still do make it, a major agricultural
area. Its green terraced hillsides supply the fruit and vegetable markets of
Asmara and Massawa.
Ghinda is a popular place to stop on the journey between Massawa and Asmara
and travellers usually do so for half an hour for a break. Any of the
restaurants opposite the bus stop are worth trying for a meal or refreshments.
The town was severely damaged in the war of liberation. the cemetery
outside Ghinda contains the bodies of 3500 men and women fighters killed at the
Ghinda front in 1990.
pictures of Ghinda > > >
Not far from Massawa, on the road from Foro to Zula, lie the ruins of Adulis, an ancient
Axumite port up
to the 7th century, and one of the main archaeological sites in Eritrea. The
black basaltic constructions of Adulis lie buried under sand and soil brought down from the agricultural highlands by the
The 1961-91 war completely shut down excavations for 30 years.
it went into decline, the port of Adulis was one of great significance in Antiquity. It is best known for its role in Axumite trade during the fourth – seventh centuries AD.
It served all the major Axumite towns of the
interior: Axum, Qohaito, Metera and Keskese, cities that are now only
archaeological sites, dotted with fragmented stelae, inscriptions and the remains of palaces and storehouses.
Not only did Adulis offer a good harbor
on the route to India, but it was a source for
commodities such as gum, gold, honey, wax, myrrh, ivory, tortoise-shell and rhinoceros horn.
Adulis is referred to as a port, but it is now 4 km from the Gulf of Zula, due to major
coastal changes in the area, between the villages of Afta and Zula.
In the year A.D. 1 a Greek writer
created a sailor's and businessman's travel guide. It described the
busy port of Adulis as Axum's chief trade city: "Adulis (is) a
fair sized village, from where it is three days' journey to Coloe, an
inland town and first market for ivory. From that place to Axum, the
city of the people called Axumites, there is a five days' journey
more. To that place all ivory is brought from the country beyond the
Adulis ruins, Buri Peninsula - Eritrea.