This will be my closing blog entry from my trip to Lalibela. I had some more photos from about town I wanted to share, but they didn't really have a central theme besides that. Despite the rainy weather, this was one of those trips where everything just seemed to go right. If you'd like to experience more of what Lalibela has to offer, I encourage you to check out my previous blogs.
1: As many countries in Africa I've been to, kids demanding to have their photo taken is a constant. The farther you get out of town, the more excited they are to see their image on a tiny LCD screen.
2: A large percentage of the kids walk around with a pledge sheet for school books. These particular kids were so friendly, I gave them a little Birr. My guide told me that sometimes it's legit, and other times the kids will just use the money to buy candy. In one particular case, a man looking to be in his mid-20s pulled out a slip of paper asking for money for school books. I asked him what grade he was in, but he didn't understand me. Needless to say, I didn't dip into my pocket for him.
3: Hoop rolling is a children's game that dates back to antiquity. In poor areas in particular, you can see the ingenuity of children to find ways to entertain themselves. I feel this is lost in western society, where it is now the norm to just hand a kid an iPad to entertain them.
4: A traditional thatch-roofed round house. This one was particularly interesting since it had two stories. The second floor is accessible by climbing a pile of rubble stacked up underneath a door.
5: From a distance, you can see the Ben Abeba restaurant perched atop one of the highest points in Lalibela.
6: A closeup of the Ben Abeba restaurant. The central canopy is shaped like a wizard's hat, and on the left, you can see a series of patios shaped like martini glasses. This structure looks very out of place in such a traditional town, and I was told it created quite the controversy when it was first built about ten years ago. The view has since softened, when it was discovered to be a great draw for tourists.
7: This is me examining the menu. Ben Abeba was the result of a partnership between a local man, and a Scottish woman. You can find Scottish-Ethiopian fusion dishes like Ethiopian shepherd's pie, Ethiopian Scotch eggs, and bubble and squeak.
8: This is the interior of the Torpedo Tej House. It's a spot where you can experience traditional dancing and music. The lighting inside was a deep red, so I decided to flip this photo to black and white. I thought these saddle chairs were interesting.
If you decide to go, audience participation is encouraged. There is a traditional form of dancing, where you move your shoulders in all kinds of crazy ways. After quaffing a couple extra-strong local drinks, I had no problem joining in.
9: Tej, the traditional honey wine of Ethiopia. It's delicious, but has a high alcohol content that will sneak up on you. You can't visit Ethiopia without at least tasting some Tej.
10: Finally, a shout-out to my guide Tadesse. Having a good guide on a short trip such as this one, made all the difference. When I say he was good, I mean it. He even invited me to his home for a meal. His sister, a local chef, cooked us some fabulous tibs. Tibs is a beef dish that is eaten by hand using a local bread called injera.
Thanks for dropping by! I hope that you enjoyed my travel photos and commentary, and will return for more travel content in the future.