Gondar, Bahir Dar, Butajira

Gondar, Ethiopia
Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Butajira, Ethiopia

This is a very delayed post…this was during my summer travels with mom at the end of August/Beginning of September, 2015

Gondar, Ethiopia
Gondar was founded by King Fasiledes in 1636 and was the medieval capital of Ethiopia for nearly 200 years. The Royal Enclosure is the walled compound of 17th-century castles and buildings in the center of Gondar.
Fasilidas’s Pool is enclosed by tall stone walls and overlooked by a two story building. In my photos, the pool is empty, however, for celebrations such as Ethiopian Epiphany (Timkat), the pool is filled for a large ceremony in Gondar.
Debre Birhan Selassie Church’s most impressive attribute were its paintings. They were done on a cotton cloth and very vibrant in color. The detail and story telling was also spectacular, almost like a comic book on a the walls of a church.

Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
Blue Nile Falls is known to locals as Tis Abay (Smoke of the Nile) or Tis Isat (Water that Smokes). About 30km after water exits Lake Tana, water plunges over a 45meter high rock face to form one of Africa’s once most spectacular waterfalls. However, now, due to the nearby hydroelectric plant, the water for the falls can be turned on and off like a water fountain. So it takes a bit of the allure out of the falls as well as makes it extremely unpredictable, even during the rainy season, when the falls should be full and plunging. We had no way to know until spending money on our excursion and over an hour driving out to the falls weather or not we would see a water or not. My Peace Corps friend Brita, my mom, and I happened to be extremely lucky to see this amount of water rushing at the falls. Several of my friends who went in the weeks before or after were not as fortunate.

Butajira, Ethiopia
Lake Ara Shetan, ‘Lake of Satan’
I did splurge on a private car to take my Peace Corps friend Alex, my mom, and myself out to Butajira to visit our host families. This helped keep the visit and traveling all in a day trip and reduced a lot of travel hassles. After an amazing visit with host families and showing mom around Butajira, our training town and home for our first three months in Ethiopia, we drove out to Lake Ara Shetan. Also known as Crater Lake, it forms the southern link in a chain of craters, lava flows and other volcanic activity that runs along the Great Rift Escarpment.

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