Well we made it to Addis Ababa. The strangest thing about getting here was that after Jane, Sue, and I followed the instructions and struggled to sure our carry-on luggage did not exceed 7 kg (15.4 lbs), they never even weighed any of our luggage. I was absolutely flabbergasted.
Our flights were great and I managed to get at least 6 or maybe even 7 hours of sleep on the 14 hour leg from Chicago (yay – no bad weather there) to Addis Ababa. Our driver, Ayu, picked us up and we met Leigh at the Juniper hotel.
We stopped at the office of Vast Ethiopian Tours and I finally got to meet Habtu (the manager of the company). I lost count of the many emails he and I exchanged planning this adventure.
Ayu told us that Addis has a population of 10 million people. I can’t seem to fact check that but i did find that there were well over 6 million in early 2017. There is construction going on everywhere – and I mean everywhere. People from all over the country are moving here.
We did a city tour today and visited The National Museum where we saw a replica of Lucy and many artifacts.
Then we visited Holy Trinity Church. This massive and ornate cathedral is the second-most important place of worship in Ethiopia (ranking behind the Old Church of St. Mary of Zion in Aksum which we will see later in our trip).
Holy Trinity Church is also the celebrated final resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife, Empress Menen Asfaw.
There were many people praying in the church.
Some of the bibles that the people were using to pray were very, very old.
We had a buffet lunch at an Ethiopian Restaurant in the oldest hotel in Addis Abba
After lunch we had coffee and tea at the hotel. They make the coffee over a fire pit
Ayu drove us through Merkato which is one of Africa’s largest outdoor marketplace. They seem to sell everything you can imagine there. I took several photos from our vehicle as we drove through incredibly busy traffic in the city.
This man was just one of many who were walking in the streets and trying to sell things to people who were in cars or vans.
None of us wanted to get out to walk through this market.
We drove up to Mount Entoto which is part of the Entoto Mountain Chain and reaches 3,200 meters above sea level. We passed many women carrying enormous piles of wood on their heads. I have no idea how they can do this.
It is really incomprehensible to believe that there is a woman under that pile of branches.
This chapel was built by Emperor Menelik in 1877
We saw Haile Selassie Church.
Mount Entoto is also where Menelik II resided and built his palace.
The wooden doors were fabulous.
This is the oldest Eucalyptus tree in Ethiopia. It was brought here from Australia.
Back at the Juniper Hotel tonight we had lamb dinner in the hotel. The time in Ethiopia is only 10:00 pm which is 11 hours later than it is in Portland. But our internal clocks are still functioning on Portland time and I am pretty exhausted. We have to be ready to leave at 6:30 tomorrow morning.