Gondar

Tuesday 19 November 2019

A lazy morning. Then off to the airport at 11am.

Back along the dusty roads out of town.

The airport was small, but had a small cafe – so I managed to get some food! Hadn’t eaten yet today. Had shiro with injera again and it was really good.

My flight was at 2.20pm, but at 2pm we were already going!

Half an hour across to Gondar. The views were awesome – so many mountains, gorges and rivers. Then as we came closer, we went over Lake Tana – the source of the Blue Nile and the largest lake in Ethiopia.

Here, the landscape changed. No longer dry. Instead very green and filled with green patches of crops.

Travelling with hand luggage only is very convenient – walk right out of the plane and into the car park!

I was picked up (for free!) and it was a half hour drive into Gondar city. All on a paved road!

It was very different to lalibela – a lot more people around, more buildings and horses pulling carts! A much larger city than lalibela.

The whole city of Gondar is a UNESCO world heritage site. Emperor Fasiladas made Gonder his capital in 1636 and many of the structures still remain.

After dropping my bag at the guesthouse I headed back out. A short walk to Debre Birhan Selassie. A church.

This church is the only one which survived a Sudanese invasion in the 1880s.

The outside is very simple. Mostly wooden and mud walls. But inside is elaborately painted.

The entrance fee was expensive – 200birr (£5!) considering the building is about 5 meters across and takes only a few minutes to visit!

I walked back into the middle of the town. Surprisingly not too much hassle. People shouted hello, but didn’t follow me down the street like they had in lalibela asking endless questions.

Then got a tuk tuk up to the castle.

The castle is set inside the Royal Enclosure, which is a 70,000-sq-metre compound containing numerous castles and palaces.

Entrance fee here was also 200birr. At least it’s a big bigger here!

Lots of ruins of castles.

After wandering around, I walked back to my guesthouse. Again, I managed to walk around half an hour with not too much difficulty. Most people said hello (whether in a car, tuk tuk, walking or hanging outside their house). But it wasn’t hassle-y.

For dinner I went to the Four Sisters restaurant – a very touristy restaurant that seems to be the only one in town. Even though almost every single white tourist was here, there were locals too!

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