Ethiopia was a lesson, a journey by way of our expectations to something else.
Sure, Ethiopia was different than we thought it was, different than all those news reports of famine, poverty and civil conflict when we were growing up.
But this different?
Our discovery of Ethiopia was not only enlightenment for us, but also for our community.
Yes, it is.
Besides turning our expectations and preconceived notions right side up, what was it about Ethiopia that struck us? It was the combination of history and culture; it was the colour, the flow, the churches, robes, and chants. It was these people, living in a way that very much connects the present with the past. Ethiopia and its way of life: they’re a package – a story – and a surprising one at that.
Did you know Ethiopia is the second oldest Christian nation in the world (330AD) and is home to an incredible set of 12th century churches literally cut from the top down underground into solid rock? Or that it features a region of red rocks reminiscent of Utah and Arizona, and dotted with 4th to 6th century cave churches carved into mountaintops?
Or that it’s the home of one of the world’s great distinct cuisines?
To give you a sense of our experience in Ethiopia, here’s an Instagram photo-essay to share a side of the country that perhaps you haven’t seen before.
Consider this a first step, an enticement. When you think of travel changing your perception, look no further than Ethiopia, a place you must visit to even begin to hope to fully understand.
Church of St. George in Lalibela. Carved top-down from red volcanic rock in the 12th century. Ethiopia’s signature historical sight…remarkable. To get a sense of size, note the tiny people on the right.
Late afternoon descent in the Gheralta Mountains of Tigray. Phenomenal hike and rock climb to the hilltop monasteries of Maryam and Daniel Korkor
On the edge of an Ethiopian sunset. Kids play in the village. En route, Yemrehanna Kristos to Lalilbela
Markets, where you meet the people. Also where you find chili peppers to make berbere, the masala crucial to Ethiopian cuisine.
The Simien Mountains. Referred to as the Roof of Africa. Layers of mountains and canyons with textures of vegetation, animals and birds.
Ancient doorway. This one literally buried in a cave, at the 12th century Yemrehanna Kristos church in the northern Ethiopian hills.
: Ethiopian food at its finest. A Maheberawi (meat-based mixed plate) to break the Ethiopian Orthodox 55-day Lenten fast. A mix of tasty stews served atop injera, a spongy sourdough flatbread.
On the edge of the cliffside on the way to Daniel Korkor cave church in the Gheralta Mountains. Facing fears.
Want to be surprised by Ethiopia yourself? We can’t think of a better reason to get out into the world. Come along with G Adventures and find out what this country has up its sleeve. We’re thrilled at the prospect of showing you this big blue planet of ours— check out our small group trips here.