Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Road Trip - The Rest of the Story....Sort Of

                                                   The Rest of the Story....Sort of

I have been seriously lacking in my blogging responsibilities! So much has happened since my last post that I can hardly remember back to the trip!!!! So here is my solution, since you all want to see the pictures I will post them and just caption what is happening in sequential order. Hopefully that will spark some memories and stories from the trip!!!! 

With out a doubt, the best hotel we stayed in the entire trip!

These next couple of shots are the Tigre region. I took these as we were driving. This part of Ethiopia is beautiful!!!

The temple of Yeha is the oldest standing structure in Ethiopia. As you can see my children did not really care to investigate. Hanging out with the driver was more fun than visiting ancient buildings...Come on kids!! We are like Indiana Jones here!!! Lets GO! Yeha Temple

Not even sure how ancient this Bible is but I can tell you its OLD!!!! 

Jake pretending that he is an Ethiopian Orthodox Priest.

The inside of the Yeha Temple

Welcome to Aksum!!! This place was amazing!!!! I can not believe that I had never heard of the Stella in Aksum. These rival the pyramids for coolness. The stella are carved from one SINGLE rock!!!! It is believed that these enormous stella mark the graves of ancient kings. Yes we got to go inside of the tombs! 

Tombs under the stella

This is like the rosetta stone of Ethiopia. It is called the  Ezana inscription and has three languages carved into it. Sabaean, Geez (pronounced guh-ez) and Greek. Geez is the language of the Ethiopian Church and all masses are conducted in Geez. Sabaean is the original language of the Aksumite kingdom, Geez comes from Sabaean and Ahmaric from Geez.

Our Hotel in Aksum. It was ok except that it only had 3 twin sized beds for 5 people and the beds were wall to wall.  The bed touching the outside wall was next to a window that was 5 stories up and had no bars or screens. As you can imagine I was freaked out the entire time that Jake would fling himself from the window! 

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The church of St. Mary's. This was built to give the women a place to worship. Most of the churches in Aksum have a no girls allowed rule!!!! The above pictures are art work from inside of this church. 

Indiana Jones Wanna be's here it is! This is where the Ark of the Covenant is located! According to the Orthodox church anyway, no one is actually aloud to look at it except for one priest who is never allowed to leave the compound. Mike took the boys over to have a better look at the building (no girls allowed rule) and was chased off by said priest. No he was not an aging night templar! 

Next we stayed at an eco-lodge that is on the way to Gonder. This place was beautiful but it was FREEZING! 9,000 ft elevation located in the Simian mountains! Absolutely breath taking!

The inside of the Tukul that we stayed in, no space heater, very cold!

Not too shabby, seen and used worse!

Those are bee boxes that the owner of the lodge purchased to help re-forestation. 

Our guide Bahaptou.

Funny story about this place. The Hubs decides to take Jake for a walk on a trail that hugs the side of the mountain. They have a great time and the Hubs sits Jake down in a beautiful spot to watch the sun rise and to see the Baboons playing on a hill a little ways off. As they are sitting Jake kicks his shoe off and down the side of the mountain it tumbles. Meanwhile I'm enjoying a moment to myself taking in the scenery and enjoying breakfast. I receive a phone call with a frantic husband on the other end telling me to hurry up and run down the trail towards him. I dash out the door, our guide notices my distress and follows me. We walk about 10 minutes before finding the Hubs, James and Jake. The Hubs explains the situation, hands the shoeless toddler to me and begins descending down the side of the mountain! Then I hear a loud rustling a shout and a thud. I yelled down the mountain "are you ok"? He responded that he lost his footing and fell about 15 feet! But, "I found the shoe"! During his struggles he discovers a well used trail and follows the trail all the way up to the top of the mountain! REALLY? Why did we not discover this trail BEFORE the heart attack that I had as he tumbled nearly to his death!!! Holy COW!?! Luckily, besides a few bumps and bruises he was entirely unharmed!

Next stop, Gondar!!! This is a really neat city with some cool history that you can look at by following the link. The hotel here was really nice. We actually had 2 rooms!!!! It was amazing!!! Jake only nearly died one time. He found some stairs that were not blocked in anyway and followed the stairs to the ROOF! He just climbed on up and then peered over the edge to his near death! I about DIED!! Seriously! What is with this kid?! 

Ambo! Discovered this drink on our trip to Harar and fell in love! It's just sparkling water but it makes me happy! 

Gondar Castle! 

Lion cages at Gondar Castle, yes we put Jake inside! 

The inside of our rooms in Gondar

Our Hotel in Bahir Dar
Bahir Dar was our last stop! Bahir Dar is very warm and wet! It is the resort town of Ethiopia. They actually have working street lights here and the roads are well kept and straight! It was a little shocking to tell you the truth.

The head waters of the Blue Nile river are in Bahir Dar. The name of the lake that feeds the river is lake Tana. We took a boat across the lake to visit some Monasteries there. 

Every Orthodox church has a Holy of Holies which houses a replica of the Ark of the Covenant

Walking across the Blue Nile River! AMAZING! I never would have guessed that I'd visit the head waters of the famous Nile River! 

Lake Tana

Jake is behind that bar hanging out with all of the wait staff! 


Ethiopian Church Bells

Future Visitor's Center

Monastery in Bahir Dar 

Ok let me explain this one. I knew that we'd be visiting a church, so I thought "I don't want to wear shoes that are hard to take off, so flip flops are a great option". Ok BAD IDEA!!! I had to stop every 15 ft and scrape the mud off of my shoes! On my way back while carrying Jake I slipped and fell flat on my butt into the mud!!!! shudder.... 

Hippo!!! There were about 4 of them on the lake that day! 

Water really that is what that is! 

 We went to a market in Bahir Dar. I always love visiting the markets here. Really neat experience.

Our market guide

Sugar Cane

Blue Nile River

Okay friends and Family I know that was a whirl wind blog post but if I didn't just get it done I would never do it! The next post will be back to the normal funny craziness that you have come to expect! Until next time!!!

Survival Tips 

  1. Wear apropriate foot wear!!!
  2. Keep a close eye on crazy baby boys!
  3. Watch out for the wild life
  4. Post on your blog very soon after a big trip! 


  1. Wow! You are receiving an education that most of us will never have the opportunity to receive. Love it.

    1. Glad that you liked it. We had a really wonderful time on the trip and we will hopefully be visiting Southern Ethiopia in October!