A Travellerspoint blog

On Lake Tana


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We travelled by road to Bahir Dar [Bahir-Dar-travel-guide-948982] on the edge of Lake Tana today. The lakeside setting is relaxing ... not too many mosquitoes fortunately. The islands in the lake (and a peninsula) are home to many monasteries. So we spent our time doing nothing, visiting some monasteries, spotting birds and hippos ... and also taking an outing to the Blue Nile falls.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Ethiopia Comments (0)

Timkat!


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large_5550_1201863836437.jpgThe clergy waiting for the ceremony to start.
We were advised to be at the Fasiladas Baths by around 5am. Surely nothing much can happen before sunrise ... so we took a gamble and got there by 5:45am ... and waited till nearly 8am before anything significant happened. I guess we did absorb a bit of atmosphere ... the faithful holding candles and chanting in the dark.

After sunrise, the clergy blessed the water in the pool and the frenzy began. It appeared to be an opportunity for a play in the water (which sounded dreadful to me as the weather was cold).

Timkat Eve and Timkat has certainly been the highlight of my Ethiopian visit. The colour and the excitement was just unbeatable. Aaahh! Good research and planning has sweet rewards :-)

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Ethiopia Comments (0)

Timkat eve


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Timkat celebrations begin on the eve ... we didn't know what to expect but were told to turn up at the Piazza at 3pm.

So I had time to visit a church in the morning ... a rather different-looking one called Debre Berhan Selassie church ... it was decorated with 104 cherubs on the ceiling :-) There was also a mural depicting "M" being led to hell on a camel by the devil ... I thought that portrayal would be enough to cause a civil war in the country but thankfully it hasn't happened.

The afternoon turned out to be a riot of colour and noise with a procession from the palace through the Piazza to the ancient Fasiladas Baths ... an old royal swimming pool in an Angkor-like setting.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Ethiopia Comments (0)

Day of Rest


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Since we arrived in Gonder [Gonder-travel-guide-948985] a day early (skipping our stay in the Simiens), we could afford to rest up after sorting our accommodation woes. All we did was pay a short visit to the castle.

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Ethiopia Comments (0)

Passing through the Simien National Park


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Our original plan was to travel to Axum [Axum-travel-guide-948984] to Gonder [Gonder-travel-guide-948985] via the Simien National Park (Debark), staying a night there. In view of crowded buses in the leadup to Timkat (Epiphany), uncertainty with accommodation in Debark [Debark-travel-guide-1312415] and successive 5am starts ... we decided to shell out for a shared minivan and go straight to Gonder ... and enjoy the scenery without stopping at Debark . Yes, this time by choice.

The scenery was varied and beautiful ... unfortunately it came to a sad end in Gonder when we had trouble finding decent accommodation ... Timkat fever had reached here judging by the sad hotel situation :-(

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Posted by alexchan 17:00 Archived in Ethiopia Comments (0)

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