Ethiopia, take one

And so I've finally made to Ethiopia. Two weeks ago. So far though, I hadn't had much time, or inspiration, to write a short entry about the country, what with getting used to it, my dad and brother coming to visit from Italy, and then readying myself to hit the road again. The latter is happening today.

Ethiopia is as fascinating as it gets, and Addis Ababa, its young capital (founded 1887), reflects and possibly amplifies all those aspects that one cannot help but love and hate at the same time: pervading filth, tasty food, and the sweetest juices you'll ever taste; material poverty, but a strong sense of ancient cultural richness; armies of beggars and hordes of Faranji-shouting, arm-pulling kids and touts; delicious coffee, and the all pervading smell of its freshly toasted beans.

Ethiopian take on a caffe' macchiato, National Hotel, Addis Ababa

 The late Emperor Haile Selassie I

The view from my room in the centre of Piazza, Addis Ababa

A great specimen of a mango-avocado juice

Chldren residents of the Shala-Abijata National Park, Southern Ethiopia

Dabo, tradionally-baked bread

Gate of St Mary's church in Entoto Hills, Addis Ababa

Coffee ceremony: beans beiing slow-roasted

Addis Ababa at night

As I mention above, I am leaving Addis Ababa today: heading south towards the Bale Mountains, then back via Adama and on to Harar in the east of the country before crossing into Somaliland by mid February. I do this because my current visa is running out on February 17, and instead of hanging around Adddis and renew it, I'm planning to just get a new one in Hargeisa, Somaliland's capital city. I will be back in Ethiopia by the end of the month.

Stay tuned.
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