There were 2 main reasons for us going to Addis Ababa. First, we’d learned our lesson last year about being in places where everything is closed on Christmas. Second, I’d only had 2 super short visits and never seen the amazing museums. Despite these, the trip was…meh.
Even though Ethiopia celebrates Christmas in January, so restaurants were all open and life seemed pretty normal, the museums were all closed for COVID. Funny, since I’d checked with our hotel before arrival and was told all the museums were open. Thus, the trip was kind of a bust.
On arrival, the airport was a complete mess. They’d taken away several of the passport control desks and the entire “online visa” area for completing the process. Thus, no one knew where to send us, and we spent well over an hour in line trying to get in the right line and get a stamp in our passports. Total mess.
The next morning, we tried to go to the national museum to see Lucy, the oldest humanoid skeleton ever found. Got there and it’s closed. That’s when we found out ALL museums were closed. At least we saw this marching band to make the pointless taxi ride interesting.
That afternoon, we walked around without any real purpose, just exploring.
One major theme we noticed was that alllllllll of the construction is being done by Chinese companies. It was surprising and then funny after a while.
After a few “not so interesting” days, we decided to do something outside the city and looked for a day tour. We first stopped at a little village along the road and had some coffee with the family living there.
Next, we went to the “Portuguese bridge”, built hundreds of years ago by the Portuguese to help get supplies to Christians fighting against Muslims. There are also tons of baboons that live around here. They’re Gelada baboons, which only exist here.
The views of the cliffs and down into the valley were amazing.
We ate lunch at a small guesthouse above the bridge and saw another type of baboon in the trees nearby.
From here, we went to the Debre Libanos monastery. This is one of the oldest and most important monasteries in Ethiopia. I got a tour from the head monk, and the museum + stories he told me were a lot of “yeah right…” but it was interesting. The guy who founded the monastery stood on one leg and never sat or laid down for like 30 years! Yeah right…
The stained glass windows were awesome, though.
It was good to get out of the city and see something different on our last day in Ethiopia. Despite restaurants being open, museums were closed. Traffic was crazy, and the staff at our hotel were super annoying (they called multiple times to ask if we are checking out that day. Can’t you just look at our reservation to see when we are leaving?).
My expectation vs the reality of the visit to Addis Ababa didn’t match up.This entry was posted in Addis Ababa, Africa, Ethiopia