I hesitated long before I could take on the project of creating content on Ethiopia. The ancient nation from the horn of Africa, landlocked and defying the European colonists since eternity, remained shrouded in an obscure mist. Ethiopia is beautiful and then beautiful is an understatement. Her arid highlands of the north embraces lush green with the onset of rains. The south is called home by the Omo river. Her fertile delta has housed ancient human settlements, some of them dating back to 5000 years. The tribesmen held onto ancient art of living a life, symbiotic with nature.
We spent a couple of weeks in Ethiopia, exploring the famed northern circuit and I tried to soak in the gorgeous vastness as much as I could. But my heart longs for more!
As I created this blogpost, I realize how much I was in awe and reverence for this beautiful country. Beyond the usual stereotypes of African national parks, Ethiopia is dotted with ancient Orthodox churches, a salient part of dried up Red Sea (which receded but left a number of warm volcanos as a sign of nature’s marvel), and the sprawling capital of Addis Ababa, the quintessential economic heart center of emerging continent of Africa!
A child looks on at a Sunday Mass in Gondar, Ethiopia
With a group of Ethiopian women, whom may I take the honor of calling Habesha! They were in awe of my saree as much as I was in awe of their Sheba dress!
The roof of an ancient church, Debre Birhan Selassie. Note the Afro hair on the cherubs, hand-painted some thousand years back!
Lake Tana. Source of the Blue Nile. Endless as you witness! The surrounding of Lake Tana is lush green, thanks to water of the lake which is used for irrigation. That is a sharp contrast to the arid landscape of the rest of the northern part of Ethiopia!
Early morning Sunday mass in Ethiopia is followed by mirthful football match! It did not change across other parts of Africa, say Kenya or Zanzibar!
The magnificent castle of Gondar, Ethiopia! A UNESCO heritage site.
Part of the elaborate coffee ceremony of Ethiopia! The incense. The aroma! Smoldering and hypnotizing!
Also read: Complete Guide to Offbeat things to do in Goa!
The Ethiopian Coffee! The elixir of Africa!
My first introduction with a full plate of Enjera, the numero uno staple of the horn of Africa!
Not arguing with the aspect of cultural appropriation, I think this head cover is necessary to safeguard your skin from the burning sun of Ethiopia! Also a headcover makes it easy to enter most of the places of religious importance, and there are many in the northern circuit of Ethiopia!
I had to be this dramatic when the Sun bid adieu to the Earthly realm! Because, Bollywood. Because, Saree!
By the bank of a Sulphur lake, Dallol. The remains of a volcano that once shook the Earth at the bed of Red Sea!
A camel skull marks the salt mining territory of Danakil depression Ethiopia.
Men and their camel caravan work hard to extract salt and bring them to the market for trading! They earn somewhat USD 40 a week for the task. It is considered decent income in the context f Ethiopia, as the guide told us!
The African wilderness. Can not be compared with anywhere else!
Sunrise shot taken at the Erta Ale Volcano!
Overlooking the sleeping volcano crater of Erta Ale!
the highlands of Northern Ethiopia. Manual labor and hard work are essential to survive in the landmass.
With Lucy, also known to be the grandmother of mankind! The first hominid who could stand on two feet. Her fossil was retrieved from afar region, a part of the Rift Valley of Africa.
The moon god. Once worshipped in the Sahara region before the advent of Abrahamic religions.
Basking in the African Sunrays. Small pleasures of life!
Bete Giyorgis, the Church of Saint George: the finest of all the rock hewn monolithic churches of Lalibela, one of the earliest UNESCO Heritage sites of the world!
Lalibela boasts of 11 such Rock hewn churches made of volcanic pink soil and dating back to thousands of years. Lalibela was intended to be the new Jerusalem of the world!
The impeccable paintings that adorn the walls of the Lalibela Churches.
You can not help just pose once against this stunning backdrop
Lalibela. the best kept secret of Ethiopia!
The obscure northern highlands of Ethiopia and sparse water body. It is where the remnant of Arabian deserts cedes and the beginning of Nile’s journey takes place.
Hand painted murals on the Old Christian churches of Ethiopia. You will be stunned to know many of these mural dates back to thousands of years!
Aah, the Nile Fish Cutlet. I survived mostly on these while traveling in Ethiopia! Reminded me fondly of the Cabin restaurants of Kolkata. Let me warn you, one portion of this would suffice at least a couple of eaters.
The fast changing face of Addis Ababa, arguably Africa’s economic pulse center. A subway train leaves the station as onlookers cross the road.
Local board game of Ethiopia. A lot like India’s Ludo. Makes for a great souvenir to be brought back home from Ethiopia!
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