Cassala is a town in the state of Kassala Wilayat Kassala in Sudan. Busses run from Kassala to Khartoum (7 hours), Gedarif (3 hours) and Port Sudan (7 hours). Minor busses and vans drive to places around Kassala, such as Halfa al-Jadida, Khashm al-Ghirba and Aroma. For entry to Kassala you need an entry visa, which will be thoroughly examined at the entry to the town, shortly before arrival at the school.
You may have difficulty getting back in if you are leaving town on a full-time excursion. From March 2010, the Kassala authorisation can be obtained at the Licensing Office opposite the Hotel Dandas (south-east edge of the intersection) with a photograph, three photocopies of your Sudanese visa and your Sudanese visa and a local application document.
Located in Kassala's central coach terminal on the road from Khartoum to Port Sudan, Souq ash-Sha'abi is quite far from the center of the capital. Among the busses a visitor should use are Khatmiya (for the old center of Khatmiya, the tomb of Seyid Hassan and the cafés on Totil Mountain), Souq ash-Sha'abi (for the intercity train station), Banat (for the Gash riverbank and the rail colonies ) and the trucks to Sawagi Janubiya and Sawagi Shamaliya, the two agricultural areas to the east and west.
There are not many cabs and no rickshaws in Kassala. The" Woman's Souq" is the name of the kitchen where cups, grates, coffeemakers and frankincense are produced. The Khatmiya is the old part of Kassala, under the Taka, Totil and Aweitila hills (huge, you can't miss them). Over the grave you can reach the Jebel Totil.
At the lower hillsides, several cafés are integrated into the rocks, which serve the best coffees from Kassala. There' also the renowned fountain of Totil. Drinking from it means that one of these days you will go back to Kassala. Kassala is crossed by the river Gash, but most of the year it is a river bed of sand that is used for soccer training in the evening.
During the wet seasons, the waters flow down from the erithrean hills and flow through the town, making the shores a favourite place for evening walks. But the gas is a hazardous stream that has recently been inundated twice (07 and 03) and has severely damaged the whole town.
Ascend Totil Hill and enjoy the stunning view of Kassala and the Wad Sherifei and Eritrea shelter. Have a cup of coffe at one of the hundred stands in Kassala or in a café on Totil-Berg. About five kilometers along the gas, and when it's arid, you can head for the hills and Khatmiya.
Cassala is renowned for its coffees, which have been traditionaly drunk in a jug named elbbana. In souq an-Niswan these are quite inexpensive, as are wood mortars and pestle for milling the ground broadleaves, roast bowls, stand for jebbanas and small coffeecups. The bean purée (Fuul) is the central course in Kassala, and there are many states.
It also serves baylava and other candies and is one of the few cafés in Kassala where native girls dine. If you want to try other regional foods, such as ttagaliya and boamiya (both okra-based), accompanied by guuraasa (a sponge cake bread) or cisra ( "very thin, slightly tart bread"), and various pieces of meats (ask for shiya if you don't feel like offal), try some of the central part of the Souq' restaurant.
In Khatmiya the coach crosses a cattle fair opposite a large graveyard. Here there are booths for the sale of lambs, which are prepared to order and boiled in the next room's restaurants. Cassala is renowned for its jebbana flavoured with zincabile (ginger) and girfa (cinnamon) and eaten in a ton jug with Frankincense and poppcorn on the side.
For a complete cure, the best place is in one of the cafés on the hillsides of Totil. Kassala is otherwise full of stands where you can buy small coffeepots made from small Pif-Paf tins. iebbana - coffe bi dadahiil - with a lot of gingerbread and spices. ie bawa khaifiif - with a little bit of it.
baliiga - without gingerbread. unsaliiga - without gingerbread. smay - tee. smay kilkedeh - rose hibiscust tee. smay bi laboran - tee with warm cream. yawgu yumaada - with clumpy pieces of cream (some ask for it!). yay Farani - literal "French tea", that is actually cream with cream.
In Kassala, fruit juice is delicious and freshly prepared at many stands in the shop so that you can order it without adding sugars. The Telal ash-Sharq and the Hipton are two of the best in Kassala. Other are Safa, Bashir, Totil and Medina.