Ethiopia, September-October 2017

Ethiopia in the worldDuring my two-week stay in Ethiopia, I didn’t see any traffic lights – even in the capital Addis Ababa, where five million people are said to reside. Yet, drivers, including those of numerous minibus taxis, are refreshingly civilized (a happy surprise and shock to South Africans). Traffic runs smoothly. No chaos.

Although Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, GDP per capita is still one of the lowest. Its richness lies in its gentle but resilient people, long history, diverse and unique culture, and breathtakingly beautiful landscape.

This time, I travelled around northern Ethiopia – Addis Ababa, Lalibela, Axum, Yeha, Adwa, Simien Mountains National Park, Gondar, Lake Tana, Bahir Dar and Blue Nile.

Ethiopia map

2週間のエチオピア滞在中、信号をひとつも目にしなかった。5百万人が住んでいるといわれる首都アディスアベバですら信号がない。なのに、交通は混乱もなく進む。アグレッシブなドライバーが多い南アフリカから来た者にとっては驚異的である。

エチオピアは現在、世界でも経済成長が著しい国。それでも国民の大多数がとても貧しい。エチオピアの豊かさは、優しくかつ強靭な国民、長い歴史、多様性に富みユニークな文化、そして息を呑むほど美しい自然にある。

今回の旅では国の北部を回った。(アディスアベバ、ラリベラ、アクスム、イェハ、アドワ、シエミン国立公園、ゴンダル、タナ湖、バヒールダール、青ナイル川。)

Two women walking in front of construction site

Two women walking in front of construction site. Addis Ababa

 

People across the street

People across the street from National Museum of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

 

Roofat Palace of Menalik II

Roof at Palace of Menalik II, Mount Entonto, Addis Ababa

 

Chimney at Palace of Menalik II, Addis Ababa

Chimney at Palace of Menalik II. Mount Entonto, Addis Ababa

 

Singing girl and her family

Girl singing aloud, oblivious of her family’s activity around her. Shiro-Meda (cotton market), Addis Ababa

 

Barbershop

Barbershop. Addis Ababa

 

Mannequins

Mannequins. Adwa Street, Addis Ababa

 

Dog relaxing

Dog relaxing. Adwa Street, Addis Ababa

 

Grocery shop

Grocery shop where I bought tea. Adwa Street, Addis Ababa

 

Old lady walking in the middle of the road

Old lady walking in the middle of the road, Addis Ababa

 

Priest at Holy Trinity Cathedral

Priest standing at the entrance. Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa

 

Emperor's chair, Holy Trinity Cathedral

Head part of Emperor Haile Selassie’s chair. Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa

 

Old ladies, Holy Trinity Cathedral

In every church you see people (mostly middle-aged and old women) squatting or sitting on the ground. They rely on the goodwill of churchgoers, but are seldom seen actively begging. Holy Trinity Cathedral, Addis Ababa

 

After rain

After rain in late afternoon. Addis Ababa

 

Fruit sellers

Fruit sellers. Addis Ababa

 

Three boys looking at a smartphone

“Look!” Addis Ababa

 

Wild flowers

Wild flowers. On the way to Ne’akuto Le’ab Church, Lalibela

 

Happy herdboy running along

Happy herdboy running along. On the way to Ne’akuto Le’ab Church, Lalibela

 

Cactus

Cactus. Ne’akuto Le’ab Church, Lalibela

 

Wild flowers

Wild flowers. Ne’akuto Le’ab Church, Lalibela

 

Sneakers at the door

Sneakers at the door. Ne’akuto Le’ab Church, Lalibela

 

Priest at Ne'akuto Le'ab Church

Priest at Ne’akuto Le’ab Church, Lalibela

 

Tree on top of hill

Lone tree standing on top of hill. Ne’akuto Le’ab Church, Lalibela

 

Boy squatting

Boy squatting in front of house, marked “x” and “-1”, Lalibela

 

Door at Beta Medhane Alem

Door at Beta Medhane Alem, Lalibela

 

Children giggling

Children giggling. Beta Maryam, Lalibela

 

Three men chatting

Three men chatting. Lalibela

 

Man holding a book

Man holding a book, Lalibela

 

Carpet and drums

Carpet and drums. Beta Meskel, Lalibela

 

Three houses with thatched-roof

Thatched-roof. On the way to Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Herdboy waving

Herdboy waving. On the way to Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Three brothers herding goats

Three brothers herding goats. On the way to Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

The eldest brother looking proud

The eldest brother looking proud. On the way to Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Boys waving at our vehicle

Boys waving at our vehicle. On the way to Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Going home after church

Going home after church. On the way to Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Man walking in the field

Man walking in the field. On the way to Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Wife preparing tea

Wife preparing tea. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Mother and toddler

Mother and toddler. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Orange cat

All the cats I saw in this village were orange. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Curious little girls

Very curious little girls. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Girl looking solemn

Girl looking solemn. Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Girl looking amused

Girl looking amused. Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Thatch-roofed house

Thatch-roofed house. Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Cat crawling into the house

Cat crawling into the house. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Everybody is looking, Lalibela

I wonder what everybody is looking at. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Lady at a coffee house

Lady at a coffee house. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Old man pondering

Old man pondering. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Father and son

Father and son. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Young woman

Young woman. Village near Yemrehane Kristos Cave Church, Lalibela

 

Boy carrying leaves on the head

Boy carrying leaves on the head. Lalibela

 

Firewood

Firewood. Beta Aba Libanos, Lalibela

 

Priest reading the scripture

Priest reading the scripture. Beta Aba Libanos, Lalibela

 

Priest standing at the entrance

Priest standing at the entrance. Beta Emanuel, Lalibela

 

Cat and her human

Cat and her human. Beta Giyorgis, Lalibela

 

Beta Giyorgis

Beta Giyorgis. Lalibela

 

DVD shop

DVD shop. Axum

 

King Rembai's stelae

The tallest stelae (33 m), credited to the 3rd-century King Remhai, was never been erected probably because the base was too small to support it. The Main Stelae Field, Axum

 

Flowers at the Main Stelae Fields

Flowers at the Main Stelae Fields, Axum

 

Bird at Tombs of Kaleb and Gabre Meskel

Bird at Tombs of Kaleb and Gabre Meskel, Axum

 

Mai Shum

Many people gather at Mai Shum (Queen Sheba’s Bath), washing, cleaning, swimming and collecting water. Axum

 

Young woman sitting on the stairs

Young woman sitting on the stairs. Tsion Maryam Church, Axum

 

Shop at Tsion Maryam Church

Shop at Tsion Maryam Church, Axum

 

Toddler looking serious

Toddler looking serious. Tsion Maryam Church, Axum

 

Window washer

Window washer. Tsion Maryam Church, Axum

 

Window washer

Window washer. Tsion Maryam Church, Axum

 

Woman sitting

Woman sitting on the ground. Tsion Maryam Church, Axum

 

Motorbike and sheep

Motorbike passing a smart-looking elderly gentleman with sheep. Axum

 

Girl herding sheep

Girl herding sheep. Axum

 

Young woman looking melancholic

Young woman looking melancholic. Axum

 

Mother looking after four kids

Mother looking after four kids. Axum

 

Husband and wife in discussion

Husband and wife in discussion. Axum

 

Street

Street. Axum

 

Old woman sitting in shade

Old woman sitting in shade. Arbaet-Ensesa (Church of the Four Animals), Axum

 

Woman sitting in shade

Woman sitting in shade. Arbaet-Ensesa (Church of the Four Animals), Axum

 

Pigeon house

Pigeon house. Arbaet-Ensesa (Church of the Four Animals), Axum

 

Two women walking

Two women walking with parasol. Axum

 

Shop window

Shop window. Axum

 

Woman at a shop

Woman at a shop. Axum

 

Awning

Awning. Axum

 

Roof construction

Roof construction. Axum

 

Street sign

Street sign. Axum

 

Durgur ruins

Durgur ruins. Axum

 

Durgur ruins

Durgur ruins. Axum

 

Quarry

This girl followed us without uttering a word. Quarry, Axum

 

Woman walking with donkey

Woman walking with donkey. Axum

 

Tef field

Tef field. On the way to Lion of Gobedra, Axum

 

Quiet girl

Quiet girl. On the way to Lion of Gobedra, Axum

 

Goat on rock

Goat on rock. On the way down from Lion of Gobedra, Axum

 

Man checking messages

Man checking messages on donkey cart. On the way to Aba Gerima, east of Adwa

 

Sunbird

Sunbird. Aba Gerima, east of Adwa

 

On the way to Yeha

On the way to Yeha

 

Two young women

Two young women. Yeha

 

Woman yawning

Woman yawning. Yeha

 

Man sleeping

Man sleeping. Yeha

 

At the museum entrance

At the museum entrance. Yeha

 

Happy baby sheep with mommy

Happy baby sheep with mommy. Yeha

 

Children drawing water

Children drawing water. Yeha

 

Bed on taxi roof

Mattress on taxi roof. Adwa

 

Three boys after school

Three boys after school. Adwa

 

Young family

Young family. Adwa

 

Pretty girl

Pretty girl on the way back from Adwa to Axum

 

Horse cart

Horse cart, Shire

 

Ploughing

Ploughing. On the way from Shire to Debark

 

Boy ploughing with two oxen

Boy ploughing with two oxen. On the way from Shire to Debark

 

Girl and skinny calf

Girl and skinny calf. On the way from Shire to Debark

 

Play time

Play time. On the way from Shire to Debark

 

Camels and cows under big tree

Camels and cows under big tree. On the way from Shire to Debark

 

Stunning girls

Stunning girls. On the way from Shire to Debark

 

Super friendly kids

Super friendly kids. On the way from Shire to Debark

 

On the way from Shire to Debark

On the way from Shire to Debark

 

On the way from Shire to Debark

On the way from Shire to Debark

 

On the way from Shire to Debark

On the way from Shire to Debark

 

Furniture maker

Furniture maker. Debark

 

On the way from Debark to Simien Mountains National Park

On the way from Debark to Simien Mountains National Park

 

Morning walk in the mist

Morning walk in the mist, Simien Mountains National Park

 

Morning walk, Simien Mountains National Park

Morning walk, Simien Mountains National Park

 

Geladas play-fighting

Geladas play-fighting. Simien Mountains National Park

 

Jump

Jump! Juvenile geladas love jumping/falling from a tree. Simien Mountains National Park

 

Adult male gelada

Adult male gelada on the watch. Simien Mountains National Park

 

Geladas grooming

Geladas spend many hours a day grooming each other. Simien Mountains National Park

 

Flowers. Simien Mountains National Park

Flowers. Simien Mountains National Park

 

Woman in the mist

Woman in the mist. Simien Mountains National Park

 

Man with horses

Man with horses. Simien Mountains National Park

 

Farmers

Farmers. On the way from Simien National Park to Gondar

 

Neighbourhood kids

Neighbourhood kids rushed to see us, who were watching the farmer tossing hay. On the way from Simien National Park to Gondar

 

Falasha village

Falasha village. On the way from Simien National Park to Gondar

 

Bird at Royal Enclosure

Bird at Royal Enclosure, Gondar

 

Fire finch

Fire finch. The Four Sisters, the restaurant, leaves crumbs outside for birds. Gondar

 

Broken pot

Broken pot. Gondar

 

White-cheeked turaco

White-cheeked turaco. Gondar

 

Door with writing

Door with writing. Kuskuam Church, Gondar

 

Boy observing from above

Boy observing from above. Kuskuam Church, Gondar

 

Kuskuam Church

Kuskuam Church, Gondar

 

Discarded cart

Discarded cart. Fasilides Bath, Gondar

 

Red frlowers on the door

Red flowers on the door. Debre Birhan Selassie Church, Gondar

 

What do you want?

“What do you want?” Gondar

 

Dog looking back

Dog looking back. Gondar

 

Boy dragging empty plastic bottles

Boy dragging empty plastic bottles. Gondar

 

Narge Selassie

Narge Selassie, Lake Tana

 

Silver-cheeked hornbill

Silver-cheeked hornbill. Narge Selassie, Lake Tana

 

Pelicans flying over Lake Tana

Pelicans flying over Lake Tana

 

Priest in green plastic shoes

A lot of children and some adults, like this priest, are seen wearing these green plastic shoes. Azewa Mariam Church, Zeghie, Lake Tana

 

Fishing in papyrus boat

Fishing in papyrus boat. Lake Tana

 

Outlet of Blue Nile

Outlet of Blue Nile. Lake Tana

 

Pepsi vehicles

The first Pepsi vehicles I saw. Coca-Cola is all over the country. Bahir Dar

 

On the way from Bahir Dar to Blue Nile Falls

On the way from Bahir Dar to Blue Nile Falls

 

On the way from Bahir Dar to Blue Nile Falls

On the way from Bahir Dar to Blue Nile Falls

 

Walk from Tis Abay Town to Blue Nile Falls

Walk from Tis Abay Town to Blue Nile Falls

 

Walk from Tis Abay Town to Blue Nile Falls

Walk from Tis Abay Town to Blue Nile Falls

 

Blue Nile Falls with rainbow

Blue Nile Falls with rainbow

 

Blue Nile Falls with flowers

Blue Nile Falls with flowers

 

Crossing Blue Nile

Crossing Blue Nile. It took us only 5 minutes by a small motorboat.

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