Monday, 4 November 2019

Ethiopia Trip: Wrap-up

 Ethiopia was an amazing trip. Seeing the various rock-hewn churches was incredible. We went with a company based in Addis Ababa called Awaze Tours that took care of all of our hotel reservations, driver, local guides, food (restaurants for lunch, hotel restaurant for dinner), and internal flight. Everyone we dealt with there was great. Our driver and guides were professional and knowledgeable. We only had to pay for alcoholic drinks, tips (the biggest expense in country), and souvenirs. And our international flights, of course. We did the Historic Route A trip.

Food was a mix of Ethiopia (generally stews of lentils, chickpeas, meat and/or veggies on injera, a sourdough from tef grain made into a pancake) and European (generally Italian, I’m assuming due to their occupation of Ethiopia during WWII - so a lot of pizza and pasta).

Their fruit juices, more like smoothies, were fantastic. Towards the end of the trip we tried the avocado juice, which is made with citrus and sugar and is SO yummy.

The airport going home had some unexpected surprises. We didn’t know we’d need proof of our flight to be allowed into the building and had some tense minutes trying to come up with something. We’d done online check-in for our flight but weren’t sent the confirmation email. Luckily my sister had a print out of our flight times which the guard accepted. Once in the building we immediately had to go through metal detectors and x-ray machines. It was full airport procedure, so off with the coats, shoes, empty the pockets, take out the laptops and tablets but liquids could stay in bags. We then got to check our bags. I considered keeping mine as it was small enough for the cabin but I’m glad I didn’t. We then had an immigration check and the security gate. In the terminal we started looking for our gate and glancing in some shops. Turns out if you still have birr (local currency) you can get things pretty cheap. If you’re spending American dollars though it’s a real price gouge. We found our gate and had to go through security AGAIN, this time with the full body scanner. Good thing we had the full 3 hours because we made our gate only a few minutes before boarding started.

Ethiopia is a gorgeous country. Here’s a video I made of panning shots of some of the amazing views we saw. Tomorrow I’ll post a video of clips mostly take from the car driving through various locations and a reading list if you’d like to learn more about the country and its history.

12 Views of Ethiopia from Jessica Strider on Vimeo.

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