Blogs from Axum, Amhara Region, Ethiopia, Africa


Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum March 18th 2019

12 mars "Ne tenez pas la queue du léopard, mais si vous la tenez, ne la lâchez plus" Proverbe Éthiopien (Toujours à Debark) Maintenant de retour de mon trek dans les montagnes du Simien, mon plan est d'étirer mes aventures jusqu'à Aksum (ville de 56 500 habitants) tout au Nord, presqu'à la frontière de l'Érythrée. L'unique bus qui rejoint Aksum quitte Gondar vers les 5h du matin et s'arrête justement ici, à Debark vers les 8hAM. Très en demande, les places dans le bus se remplissent supposément très rapidement au départ de Gondar. Pour sauver les presque 3 heures de route qui sépare Debark de Gondar, j'ai décidé de passer la nuit ici, à la désordonnée Debark... tout en payant un passager qui prendra une place dans le bus à ma place (!) à partir du ... read more
Église colorée

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum July 28th 2013

Tales from aeons past seep from every corner of Axum. More than 2000 years ago, the former capital of the Axumite kingdom exerted its military, trade and cultural powers for more than a millennium. Legend states that the king who bore Frankincense (Gaspar) to Jesus after his birth hailed from Axum. The famed Queen of Sheba is also believed to have come from this ancient city. However, Axum’s biggest claim is its possession of the famous Ark of the Covenant that housed the stone tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments. So appropriately donning my worn and faded Indiana Jones hat, I engaged in my own version of Raiders of the Lost Ark and sought the resting place of one of history’s most important relics. Many deride Axum as having little to hold the visitor’s attention for ... read more
Extremely cute Ethiopian girl - Axum, Ethiopia
Priest of Enda Iyesus Church - Axum, Ethiopia
Tomb of King Gebre Meskel - Axum, Ethiopia

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum November 6th 2012

6th Nov ’12 Axum Well I guess we were lucky as we slept through the night, unlike some of our group whose rooms faced town and heard the chanting competition! It turns out today is a special religious celebration day. After breakfast we wandered out onto the terrace and got fantastic views across the little town and we could look down right over the stelae field. Ok perhaps I should start by saying let me take you back……back into the days of the Old Testament, to the time of the Queen of Sheba, King Solomon, Menelik their son and the Ark of the Covenant, to the King of Ethiopia called Balthazar – think ‘we 3 kings of Orient are’, to piles of frankincense, half explored tombs, secret doorways, ruined palaces and fortresses, unearthed 4th century stone ... read more
Axum - Queen of Sheba's Bathing Pool
Axum - Tombs
Axum - Tombs

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum November 5th 2012

5th Nov ’12 Debark to Axum Today was the mega long road journey to Axum. The road that runs up and down and winds through the Simien Mountains (and was featured in the TV series The World’s Most Dangerous Roads) is being widened and re-surfaces which means that it was rough, bumpy and with lots of roadworks and the 250 km drive could take up to 12 hours to do! In fact we made it in 11 hours – a long haul but in spectacular scenery, towering jagged brown peaks, forested lower slopes, lush green valleys, a winding river, sheer drops and hair pin bends all added a bit of spice! There were hold ups while bulldozers moved towering piles of stones or flattened sections of road before waving us on and the speculations as to ... read more
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The trusty bus

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum March 13th 2012

We got to the bus station in Debark for 8.30 a.m. to make sure we got a spot on the bus going from Gonder to Axum. After a bit of a scramble once the bus arrived, I managed to get us two tickets. The bus set off around 9.30 a.m. and as soon as we left Debark we began a slow, winding descent down the mountains. The views were incredible, but it wasn't the most comforting sight when you looked out the window and saw the bus wheel inches from the edge of a sheer cliff face. Any mistake from the driver and we would have been rolling down a couple of thousand feet! The driver negotiated all of the hairpin bends all the way down, but then we had to do the same in reverse ... read more
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Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum October 30th 2011

ETHIOPIA: Reviving the Axumite Empire. Enter our flight at Bahir Dar...hostess points to my seat...front seat, window...big white man in it...empty next to him...Ros's seat. "Excuse me, you are in my seat," as I show him my ticket. "Take it up with him" he points across the aisle front seats to where three black men in suits are sitting. "He took my seat...take it up with him." "That's got nothing to do with me. It's not my problem." "It is now. It's now your problem." "No it's not. Can I have my seat, please?" "What are you going to do about it? Do you want to fight me?" He raises his fists. The hostess grabs me "I have a seat for you here." I glare at the protaginist as I'm escorted down the back. Ros...long gone..! ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum January 12th 2011

Since I quickly learned that Ethiopia’s state-run internet service is – in a particularly memorable phrase from one of my guidebooks – “slow as a decomposing tortoise”, I was not able to post blog entries as I went along. What follows is something I wrote when I first arrived in Ethiopia, nearly a month ago. I will post a few other brief entries about my other major stops in the upcoming days. I. Obelisks and Churches As a history teacher/buff (buff teacher?), I figured I might as well start at the beginning, if I were going to tackle Ethiopia’s “historical circuit”. But this meant that I would actually have to start almost midway in the geographic arch of that circuit, at least as it is usually followed by tourists setting forth from Addis Ababa. So, after ... read more
Remnant of Ethiopian Millennium
Main Stelae Field
Tomb beneath the Field

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum January 3rd 2011

A lay in for once! And I've now read that the iphone alarm should be working for today, temporary glitch... Not reassuring! Today my guide is collecting his sister from the airport having not seen her for 3 years as she's been working in the Arab States, so I have a back up guide. He seems ok, but it eventually turns into lost in translation. First we drive to the Yeha Temple, which is about an hour from Aksum and past the town of Adwa. Up until Adwa there is only dirt track road so another dusty slow journey. We make one stop to view the Adwa mountains where the battle with the Italians took place . This was the biggest colonial defeat and took place in 1896. Strange place for a battle, but terrain like ... read more
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Yeha Temple

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Axum January 2nd 2011

Well iphones have gone even lower in my opinion, not only can it get no reception in the whole of Ethiopia, now the alarm has broken! So I overslept by 45mins and had a mad rush to the airport without breakfast. The streets are filled again with women in shawls off to church, not sure what the men do. Another day, another saint, I later find out that it is Saint Tekla Haimanot day. He is the man that stood praying on one leg for 7 years until the other one fell off, urgh! He was made a saint and given 3 pairs of wings. Luckily, as I'm very late, the airport is as relaxed as Bahir Dar so we aren't even allowed through security until 10mins before the plane arrives, Security is slightly less strict, ... read more
Stelae field
Italian stolen stelae
Fallen stelae

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