Recently I have noticed that most of my search engine referrers are from people searching for things related to Ethiopia and being directed to my blog, which is great as Ethiopia is amazing!

So, considering that I have only written one post on this country I love so much, I thought I would rectify that with a series of Memory Lane Monday posts dedicated to this fascinating place! And here is why I think it is so…

In Ethiopia, you will be constantly surprised…

Many people think of Ethiopia and imagine drought and famine, and often that is all they imagine. But Ethiopia will constantly surprise you with how much it has to offer.

For one, it is insanely green! We visited in July, which is rainy season in this part of East Africa, and we could not believe the colour of the place, fresh and full of life,  everywhere you looked. This was particularly true when we ventured into the Simien Mountains which was saturated with breathtaking scenery.

The Simien mountains as seen from the rainy window of an Isuzu truck!

The Simien mountains as seen from the rainy window of an Isuzu truck!

Another fascinating aspect of Ethiopia, that I had no idea about before I went, is its rich and exciting history! Being one of the only non-colonised countries in Africa is incredible in itself, but when you delve further back in time, and visit such history rich places as Axum and Gondar, you will be even more impressed.

Gondar's castles wouldn't look out of place in medieval England!

Gondar’s castles wouldn’t look out of place in medieval England!

And what made learning about the, almost mythical, stories of Ethiopia’s past even more enjoyable, were the people that told them. Each tour guide who showed us around was not only very knowledgeable about the landmarks but was able to tell the story in such a dramatic way that you felt like you were there! Who knows how factual they were being, but it was definitely entertaining.

Next up on the most surprising list. The food. Oh the food! Ethiopia’s cuisine is unlike anything you will have tasted anywhere else in the world and it is absolutely delicious. The foundation for all meals is Injera and the only way I can think to sum it up is that it is like a sour, spongey pancake! It doesn’t sound appetising but when it is topped with little portions of all the delicious Ethiopian dishes and eaten communally with your hands, it is so good! Shiro was my favourite dish and is like a hot, creamy humus often mixed with tomatoes that, I promise, is really good!

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A typical meal, in a traditionally Ethiopian restaurant in Addis

Another aspect of Ethiopian culture that was particularly surprising was how touched I was by the country’s faith. Ethiopians are mostly all Orthodox Christians and no where is their faith more pronounced and impressive as in Lalibela… A post about which will be coming next week! I am not religious but was really moved by the form it took in Ethiopia.

And I cannot forget the South. I touched upon it in my first post about Ethiopia, but this was seriously one of the most fascinating adventures of my life. From hitchhiking, to rural markets, to people wearing more jewellery than clothes, this is a part of the world you won’t forget in a hurry!

This trip was one of my all time favourites and I cannot wait to share more of it with you…

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