Ethiopia Stories and Tips

Axum

Axum- stela Photo, Ethiopia, Africa

AXUM

Stayed at the Africa Hotel -- I had a 30 birr room (common shower), but should’ve sprung for the 50 birr room with the attached bath. Good restaurant -- they serve "shiro tagamino", a Tigré specialty of mashed beans fried in hot chilies served with injera.

With all the admission charges, Axum is expensive -- 50 birr admission to the Museum/Stelae Field is okay, but the 60 birr entrance to the Tsion Maryam church complex is a ripoff. Although the paintings in the 17th-century church are good, there will be better in Gonder.

Mini Pastry

does great breakfasts and good pasta dinners.

Postage costs 2 birr per postcard, but none of the postcards I sent from Axum arrived, despite having them cancelled in front of me. All the postcards I sent from Gonder did arrive, so wait until Gonder to mail anything.

Sat outside the big Yeha hotel -- they have a tree that is full of birds. Must be about 10 different species in the one tree! From the Yeha, it’s a nice walk up past "Queen Sheba’s Bath" to King Kaleb’s Palace, then on to Abba Liqanos and Abba Pentalewon (30 birr entrance) and down to the road just to the east of the Africa Hotel.

Daytrip to Yeha

: from Axum bus station, caught a minibus to Adwa (1 hour, 5 birr). A long wait for a connecting bus passing through at noon to the Yeha turnoff (1 hour, 6 birr). Get off the bus with a local guy going to the Yeha market who shows me a shortcut and sets a brisk walking pace –- arrive at the ruins after about 45 minutes. Ruins are now part of a monastery, so you get an additional tour thrown in! From the ruins/monastery, one of the mountains in the distance forms the profile of a lion -- speculation that this may be the reason for its location. After the visit, I walked back to the road (around 2:30pm) and waited -- after 30 minutes a bus roared up -- it’s going direct through Axum to Shire, so I paid 10 birr to go back to Axum, arriving at 5pm.

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