Ethiopia

31 Dec - 9 January 2011

 
 


 
     




When I learned I could take a week off work for New Year’s, I was spoiled for choice: Africa is such a diverse continent, with so many attractive possibilities... I finally settled for Ethiopia, conveniently connected with Kinshasa through a 4 hour direct flight to Addis Ababa.




I had heard surprisingly appealing accounts of Ethiopia recently, describing it as a relatively safe, historically rich country, with wonderful nature and very friendly people.

I could not wait to see it for myself!


I was joined in Addis by my friend Federico, and we set off to Lalibela.




The 7th of January is the date of a major religious festival in Ethiopia: Ledet or Othodox Christmas. In Lalibela we could witness one of the most impressive pilgrimages and celebrations of Eastern Africa.


   


We also took the opportunity to explore the surroundings of Lalibela, through a 3-day hike along the Meknet Escarpment, at 3’200m of altitude. It ended up being one of the most rewarding combinations of amazing landscapes, friendly encounters with the local communities and incredible photographic opportunities I have ever experienced!






As Italians, it was particularly interesting to discover a few traces of the brief colonial period Ethiopia went through. The names of places (like Piazza and Mercato in Addis Ababa) and some expressions (like the greeting Ciao when you leave) appear to have stuck.






Ethiopia stood up to its reputation as a great country to travel through. Can’t wait to go back!





For the pictures of Ethiopia, click below:



       
       


             
Meknet EscarpmentEthiopia_1.html
                               
LalibelaEthiopia_2.html
                    
Portraits & AddisEthiopia_3.html





For more on Northern Ethiopia, go to the Gondar-Simien-Aksum-Tigrai section (June 2011):





Northern Ethiopia
June 2011Ethiopia_bis.html