I have to be in Germany. I must have taken a wrong turn somewhere because I found myself right in the middle of Bavaria. Seriously. When you see these pictures, I dare you to tell me I’m NOT in Germany:
Then I went to dinner. Everyone was speaking German (or Afrikaans, which to my untrained ear sounds the same), beer was flowing, and the decor was straight out of some of the brauhauses I visited in Germany years ago.
I ordered up a draught and had a Bratwurst dinner, complete with mash & saurkraut.
As I was enjoying my dinner at the bar, I heard my name called. Wouldn’t you know it, but my increasingly good friend, Patrick, was having dinner at one of the tables. You may remember Patrick from Mauritius, who I’ve now run into in Livingstone, Zambia; Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Maun, Botswana. We can now add Swakopmund, Namibia. It was a good reunion yet again. Patrick is one of those folks you meet and just have a really good sense about him. He’s a straight-up bloke.
After dinner, he recommended that since I was new to town (having arrived a couple of hours earlier) I should stay at the backpackers at which he was staying. But by the time I got there around 11:00, reception was closed, so I ended up staying at another backpackers a couple blocks up the road.
A little more about Swakopmund:
According to Wikipedia, “The Herero called the place Otjozondjii. The name of the town is derived from the Nama word Tsoakhaub (“excrement opening”) because when the Swakop River floods, it carries items in its riverbed, including dead animals, into the Atlantic Ocean. However, Prof. Peter Raper, Honorary Professor: Linguistics, at the University of the Free State points out that the name for Swakopmund is based on the San language, namely from “xwaka” (rhinoceros) and “ob” (river). The German settlers changed it to Swachaub, and when in 1896 the district was officially proclaimed, the version Swakopmund (German: Mouth of the Swakop) was introduced.”
The heavy German influence comes because Namibia (formerly known as South West Africa), was a German territory. The influence is seen and felt throughout the country, but it is very strong in Swakop.
One of my favorite TV shows, The Amazing Race, was here in Swakop last year. One of the challenges was to find a classified ad in one of the local German language newspapers in a local bookstore, Swakopmunder Buchhandlung. It was fun to be on one of their locations.