Blogs from Amhara Region, Ethiopia, Africa - page 4

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Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Gondar January 1st 2013

Three full days away from computers, cellphones and other tourists (minus one, who will be described later) was really fufilling. After saying goodbye to my new friends at the "National Grocery" in Bahir Dar, I woke up at 5am to catch the public ferry that crosses lake Tana over a two day period. The most frustrating part of the trip was right at the beginning when I lost my ticket! I really thought I was doomed to have to buy another one when I was told it was "ok, only two foreigners on the boat, you don't need your ticket." I was a bit nervous that this would not in fact be true, but in the end it was. No one asked me for a ticket. Ever. The other foreigner was a guy named Will from ... read more
Coffee Ceremony in a Village
This Woman was 87.
Another Passenger

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Bahir Dar December 29th 2012

Went for a long walk on my last day in Bahir Dar, I leave tomorrow at 7am for a little bit of an off the beaten track adventure (you won't hear from me for two days or so). When I was inquiring about my idea most people said, "Oh wow, that is a nice idea. Good place." Even to the point that all the unofficial guides that normally hassle me said it was a better idea than what they could suggest! Now after this happened a few times I began to think I was doing something that no other foreign tourist does, so I began to ask. Unfortunately the answer was, "Yes a few other tourists do it, maybe 1 or 2 a week." Even considering that, I am still pretty happy. I can find little ... read more
View of the Blue Nile Down the Martyr's Memorial
Streets of Bahir Dar
St. George Church

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Bahir Dar December 28th 2012

I woke up this morning and decided I was done with my hotel and the employment there. I realized that all I was doing was something that I hate when people do it to me! Overcharge, mildly deceive and then promote packaged tours that fail to get people out into the community. I was convinced by the my friends the night before, did I mention I have become friends with a number of the Bahir Dar University Professors?, when they started telling me stories about how the owner of the place cuts himself off from the community and how even with all his success he doesn't pay his employees well and how if they make one mistake they will be fired on the spot. On top of all that, it was overly expensive. Basically, he is ... read more
The Place Was Full of People Visiting a Church
I Figured it was about time I was in a Picture
It is the Dry Season

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Bahir Dar December 27th 2012

Yesterday I spent sometime on Lake Tana visiting some of the Ethiopian Orthodox Churches, most of which date to the 13th-15th Centuries. It was fascinating and it allowed me to spend my first time in Ethiopia outside of a city (for more than a pee break that is). Most of the monastaries were not worth the $5 entrance, but with some good suggestions, I was able to see a few gems. There ended up being a lot of conversation about the Ark of the Convenant, which is apparently in a church in Aksum. I was also able to see massive sheep skin books with information on religious writings, stone bells, Emperor's crowns and Orthodox paintings. I am glad I made it out. The night before I had to have a bit of a dispute with my ... read more
Goat Skin Book
Biblical Scenes and Stories from the arrival of Christianity in Ethiopia
Intense Imagery on a Wall

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Bahir Dar December 25th 2012

Getting to the bus for 5am wasn't as challenging as I had expected because the night out on Saturday made me tired enough to fall asleep at 8pm. What was interesting was seeing the drunk people stumble home at 4:30am on Monday morning...Apparently they do not follow the traditional weekend party schedule. I have never really thought of Sunday as a time to go out dancing. The bus was far more organized and convenient than I had expected. Another major difference between Ethiopia and other African countries I have been too. Handlers ticketed my bag, guarded it (and everyone elses), I had a nice seat with decent leg room, and everyone got bottled water. Greyhound could follow the advice of Selam Bus. The ride was about 9 hours long with a few stops where all the ... read more
Tej
Drinking a Coffee This Morning

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Bahir Dar November 11th 2012

Hola, Photo success and our plans have gone well. We have moved north to Bahir Dar via two long days of rattling bus travel, were going to head further north via the lake Tana ferry but the uncomfortable passenger boat had been replaced by an even more uncomfortable cargo boat so I think memories of the long boat to Timbuktu and stinky lake Volta boat got the better of us so we vetoed in favour of the bus. We are in the swing of things now though and having a good time and meeting lots of lovely Ethiopians drinking lots of Bedele Special beers. Saw the Blue Nile falls - (5% of water here ends up where we were three weeks ago in Egypt - FACT). Gonder next for castles aplenty then hopefully some trekking in ... read more
Vista
Addis hotel / brothel
Tuktuk love

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Lalibela November 8th 2012

Too many photos to fit on the last blog, so here are the rest!!... read more
Lalibela - Bet Amanuel
Lalibela - Bet Amanuel
Lalibela - Bet Amanuel

Africa » Ethiopia » Amhara Region » Lalibela November 7th 2012

7th-9th Nov ’12 Lalibela It was a short one hour flight to Lalibela but the air hostesses still managed to get round us all to give us a drink and a bun before strapping themselves in just as the plane was landing! We drove up into the hillsides with views of high mountains around us and soon reached Lalibela which feels more like a village than a town. We past the newer area of town which is where all the people who lived in the traditional storey mud huts have been moved too in order to preserve the buildings, no idea about how they felt about this but I guess they didn’t get much choice! After checking into our hotel and grabbing some lunch we drove back through the town, down the straggly lanes and to ... read more
Lalibela
Lalibela
Lalibela

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
Photo 3
Photo 4
The trusty bus




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