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Ethiopia and Sudan 2001 : Part 3 - Lalibela in the north and Harar in the east

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The old pilgrimage village of Lalibela is world famous for its rock hewn monasteries

This is probably the most famous of rock hewn monasteries in Lalibela

A window in the shape of a cross

Lalibela is really a living place of Ethiopian Orthodox Church (Christians) as well as a frequent pilgrimage place.

Many narrow passages connect rock hewn monasteries.

Many narrow passages connect rock hewn monasteries.

Many narrow passages connect rock hewn monasteries.


Every rock monastery has a priest that takes care of its religious stuff, such as crosses and books.

A boy in a hotel in Lalibela

Preparation and drinking of coffee is probably the most significant Ethiopian tradition. Coffee even comes from Ethiopia originally (from Kaffa province). Raw coffee is first roasted on a pan.

Then the roasted coffee is crushed and put into a special traditional coffee mug with boiling water. It is then served in small bowls as can be seen on the picture.

Highlanders from the north like to carry their multi-purpose sticks this way.

Everything is carried on head ....from Harar in eastern Ethiopia. Town of Harar is said to be an old Muslim fortress from where Islam was coming into Ethiopia. I personally did not find this town worth of 1 long day journey from Addis Abeba if one is short of time.

This man is selling sticks of some special wood used in whole Ethiopia instead of a tooth brush . It really seems to work.

Eastern Ethiopia is a desert area where a special plant - chat  is grown and consumed more than in other parts of the country. When chewed, it produces a feeling of an exaltation, increases an activity and reduces a need to eat. This man seems to be addicted already. Better, smaller leaves are more expensive but bigger leaves can be found even for free on the market, so everyone can chew.

A woman selling chat in Awodeji village. Chat is a shrub that can grow to tree size, it can often be found growing among coffee trees. A chat shrub produces leaves during whole year so it seems to be more effective plant than coffee. Chat production replaced coffee production in many places of Ethiopia. Chat is consumed in eastern Africa and southern Arabia.

These sheep seem to like chat as well. This quality of chat is for free in Awodeji.

In Dire Dawa - a town on the way to Harar.

In Dire Dawa

In Dire Dawa

Table tennis is very popular (as well as football) everywhere in Ethiopia. One can see children playing in every village or town.


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