With ringing ears and snivelling nose I arrived at the Ghion Hotel in Bahir Dar with my Molly. My head stuffed full of cotton wool and now indifferent to my surroundings. Bed for me please Ted. It took me another two days to recover, weakened but spirits undampened we headed off to the Blue Nile Falls. 30km away on a dirt road and a hike over some hills the falls revealed themselves. 50 meters at their highest and relatively full they were amazingly noisy!

Blue Nile Falls

We returned to the palm lined streets of Bahir Dar to arrange a trip out onto Lake Tana and its ancient monasteries. As we were pressed for time we decided to visit just three over three hours or so. Each “church” very different and all adorned with stylized Christian images and icons. Every church with its own guardian and caretaker eager to show off their ancient goat skin parchments.

old-parchmentold-priest-with-a-parchmentpainted-walls

After an unplanned stay of five nights in Bahir Dar we were keen on a change of scenery. Again, coffee fueled we boarded our mini-bus for, Lord of the Rings sounding, Gondar. For me, Gondar is akin to Shimla in India. Steep streets, an open area at the top, people walking everywhere, tuk-tuks, and old guys draped in traditional shawls brandishing a long walking staff. Our hotel, The Ambaras Hotel, ( thanks Alex for all of your help !!! ), has amazing views out over the mountains with Eagles blasting pass our window constantly. We headed out to the Royal Enclosure aka Fasiladas Castle. An extremely tranquil place covering 7 square km. Built in the 16th Century and enlarged piecemeal for 200 years. It really feels like an African Camelot.

fasiladas-castlelocal-chappiesview-into-the-simien

Since arriving here there is a real sense of history. Regarded by many as the “Cradle of Humankind” this country feels old. In the short time I have been here Ethiopia has surpassed all my meager expectations. Lush and green, abound with well dressed and seemingly affluent people, good traditional food, and ( last but not least ) an array of beers! When you get over the initial culture shock this place will leave you stunned, surprised, tired, infatuated and wanting more.

muni

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