Posts tagged with “Reiterdenkmal”

Windhoek, Namibia – Part 2

Tuesday, 30 October, 2012

October 2012


Some four weeks ago we said our farewells to our friend leaving Riebeek-West for Windhoek.  Based on past experience we expected to see her again in ten years time.  However, our unexpected visit to Windhoek change this.

We alerted her to us coming to Windhoek.  Instead of fleeing off to Swakopmund for the weekend, she gave us the option to choose between a Friday night visit to Joe’s Beerhouse, or to attend the Oktoberfest with her.  As the Oktoberfest only comes around once a year, we opted for the latter.

It’s quite a big thing, this fest.  The Kirchdorfer is a Germany based band touring around the world.  Amongst others they play at the Brasilian summer festival and the Korean Octoberfest.  Oh, and at the United Emirates’ Octoberfest.  I didn’t know you’re allowed to drink beer there.

This oempa band is phenomenal.  Nine men and a lady.  They made music for some 5 hours with enormous energy.  The old man from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory should have had these oempa loempas around!

I’m told that of the 2,2 million people of Namibia, some 4% is German speaking.  And it would appear that 90% of them attended the Octoberfest.  OK, maybe not quite, but it was no desolate affair.

A lot of the men wear the knee pants (leather or not) with braces.  The ladies also wear traditional clothing.  I could not help but notice a few substantial bellies among the men folk.  And some ladies also sported enormous beer tankards.  You basically order your beer by the bucket.

This, of course, has certain predictable results.  At the bar counter a girl stumbles against me as she puts down two beer mugs (smaller versions were also available).  This was while I’m now trying to whisper in the bartender’s ear that I would actually like a Coke, rather than a beer.  Anyway, the girl’s mugs would not stand upstraight, regardless of her endeavours (the beer mugs, that is).  I assume it to be a design defect in the mugs.

The girl explains to me what the problem is.  Well, I think that is what she did.  I assume she was speaking either English, Afrikaans or German, but I could understand nothing of what she was saying; she sounded like Donald Duck on helium.  Maybe that was also due to a design defect, although I suspect that the beer might have something to do with it.

A good time was had by all.


On Saturday we did the tourits thing and went walkabout.

I notice an attorney’s firm:  F Q P attorneys.  A rather interesting name, I thought.

On the topic of attorneys:  it would appear that the occupation of choice in Windhoek must be the manufacturing and installing of electric fences, barbed wire and burglar bars.  Oh, no, sorry, I’m not on the topic of attorneys anymore.

In spite of all these visible deterrents of criminals one does not feel unsafe.  Admittedly, it may have something to do with the fact that you are on the inside of the fencing.  But even outside those perimeters we did not feel unsafe.  Of course you should not be stupid and visit risky place, but it would appear that the crime here is property related, rather than violent crime.

The contrast between the old and the new is sriking.  The old colonial building of the Bank of Namibia now stands dwarfed by the new one right next to it.

The Bank of Namibia replaced the Namibian reserve bank in 1993.  Well, sort of.  The reserve bank never really came into existence.

The rider on his horse (Reiterdenkmal) had to move from his traditional spot to make way for the new North-Korean built Independence Memorial museum.  Reiterdenkmal now stands right in front of the old fort (Alte Feste).

On the picture a part of the Alte Feste can be seen.  The enormous coffee perculator on the left is the Independence Memorial Museum.

The colonial old is dwarfed by the new.  Maybe it was planned like that.

We walk past the building where the first president of Namibia, Sam Nujoma, used to stay.  For a moment I thought maybe I should rather tuck my camera into the front of my pants just to prevent the guards from thinking I am spying on the ex president.  But he does not stay there anymore.  I understand he has moved on. No, he is still alive, he just lives elsewhere in Windhoek.

Just past the Independence Memorial Museum is the Christuskirche.  Construction on this Lutheran church started in 1907 after the German / Herero / Khoikhoi / Ovambo war.  It was finished in 1910 and dedicated as a church of peace.

Downtown Windhoek

Downtown Windhoek is busy.  It is Saturday on a month end.  It is hot.  It is nearly summer.  The town has a nice vibe to it.

There was this one guy, though,  that lost his temper for a taxi that did a u-turn in front of him.  To make clear his point he took to his hooter.  He was not satisfied with a short, informative blast, though.  He just kept on going.  But then again, maybe he did not want to be mistook for a taxi.  The taxi’s do this short blasts to invite you to make use of  their services.

Speaking of which, the Windhoek taxi’s, unlike South African taxi’s, are normally sedan cars, rather than minibus taxi’s.

The new Hilton hotel is just across the road from the old Kalahari Sands hotel. The Hilton is left, the Kalahari Sands on the right.

It’s progress, I assume.

Part 3 to follow…