A collection of photos taken from the many places I managed to visit.
My trip to Lalibela will have its own separate blogpost!
ABBAY (NILE) & THE ROAD TO GOJJAM
The 5-6 hour drive from Addis Ababa to Debre Markos, was intense, bumpy, but all the more worth it. Anyone who’s made the journey from Addis to Gojjam will be familiar with the never-ending drive up numerous mountains (it literally feels like you are driving through an upwards spiral). Indeed, it was a little nerve-wracking. Driving upwards on what feels like the edge of a cliff can make one feel uncomfortable. But the view you get is something extraordinary – endless greenery. At one point, we stopped off to take in the view, and it was as if I was stood amongst the clouds. As the saying goes, I felt like I was on top of the world.
When travellng from Addis to Bahir Dar, we drove through a number of towns, one of which being Dejen. I was warmed by the sight of an Orthodox Church which was located almost directly opposite a Mosque. I miss hearing the sound of Qidase and Athaan freely making its way down the street. It really is a luxury I do not fully realise until I am in England, where even Church bells are a becoming a rarity.
DEBRE MARKOS, GOJJAM
Naturally, Debre Markos was one of my favourites, as I was surrounded by friends and family.
MONASTIC CHURCHES, LAKE TANA, BAHIR DAR – GOJJAM
Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, hosts a number of islands. These islands are home to over 20 monastic churches which date back to the 14th Century. I took about across Tana to visit some of these islands. As soon as you step off the boat, you are greeted by locals, many of whom were born and raised on the island. Those who conduct the tours are usually monks who have devoted their lives to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Ancient history lingers in the atmosphere, the deafening silence broken only by the sound of birds chirping, and the call to prayer. Although women are allowed on the islands, many of them do not permit women to access the churches. In cases such as this, I was able to explore the mini museums they had on offer. Nonetheless, there were a number of monasteries I was able to visit. The religious artwork and architecture was truly breathtaking, as if it were crafted by the angels themselves.
TIS ABBAY (BLUE NILE FALLS), GOJJAM
Yes, the river Nile is in Egypt. But it also runs through 11 other African countries. Grade 4 history class studying the significance of the Nile in ancient Egypt, not knowing that the blue Nile itself starts in Gojjam, Ethiopia.
The Blue Nile is of great personal significance to me. My parents originate from Gojjam, a region in Ethiopia which is home to Lake Tana, the alleged source of the Blue Nile. A popular tourist attraction in Ethiopia is the Blue Nile Falls in Bahir Dar, Gojjam, otherwise known as ‘Tis Abay’, meaning ‘great smoke’. To have such a historical source of water originate in the land of my forefathers is quite a gift, and when listening to the musical pieces at The Nile Project concert, my mind couldn’t help but drift into the past, as if to bring to life the forgotten stories of the Nile. – THE NILE PROJECT
Evidently, the Blue Nile Falls is looking not-so-Blue in my photos. Although it was summer here in England, Ethiopia was entering her winter season, and so the waterfall was rather weak…and brown. I chose to add photos my dad took a few years ago, perhaps showing it in its best form.
I spent my time in Ethiopia exploring its green highlands, but I could not leave Ethiopia without visiting Harar. If wrote about my experience in Harar in another blog post –