04/03/2014 - 04/03/2014 90 °F
We spent much of our morning in Luanda on deck 13 watching military activity in the port. The port was closed for a few hours due to a visit by the President of Luanda. (Nothing to do with the maiden call of the Crystal Serenity to Luanda– but we didn’t know that.)
Portuguese is the main language of Angola due to the years of colonial rule. Now, after 27 years of bloody civil war, Angola is the midst of aggressive rebuilding. This Iron Palace (rumored to have been designed Gustav Eiffel) is being restored.
Angola’s current oil boom is funding restorations. This is the Cathedral of Dos Remedios.
Our “Changing Face of Luanda” tour included a visit to the Angolan Museum of Anthropology with its collection of masks, art, weaponry, clothing and musical instruments.
San Miguel Fort, built in 1576, has been beautifully restored and is now the Museum of the Armed Forces
This cannon, appearing to be aimed at the slums, seems symbolic: the government is indeed demolishing wide swaths of slums, just not with cannons.
A view from the fort of the Mausoleum and Memorial to Agostinho Neto, the first president of Angola
Our caravan of mini-buses was led by police sirens and followed by an ambulance!
No photos were permitted in the mausoleum, but these visiting school girls did want their pictures taken!
Brand new construction is ongoing in the Cidade Alta, or uptown. This is the administrative hub of the country.
Luanda is termed, “the World’s Most Expensive City”. Angola is a country rich in valuable natural resources like diamonds and oil and its rebuilding has just begun.
Old ways exist alongside the new – can you imagine carrying dozens of eggs – on your head?!