Day 34 - Gonder and The Millennium

Trip Start Aug 07, 2007
Trip End Nov 07, 2007

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Flag of Ethiopia  ,
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Again, I'm behind so a quickie.

Gonder (Gondar) is the ancient capital of Ethiopia (well, one of them) and is famous for being probably the only place in all of Afria to have European style medieval castles.  It all looks quite out of place I have to say.  We all trip over castles at home all the time (I have two in my back garden) but not in the middle of Africa.  But here they are....


It was also Ethiopian millennium (due to their 7 year calendric lag) so I went out with three Norwegians, a couple of Ethiopians and a small but very precocious boy who was my 'guide'.

Actually he is worth an aside: he cornered me within 30 seconds of arrival and started reeling of places to go, people to meet, things to do.  He was very enterprising, if a bit creepy and sly.  He was also quite useful: I went for a shower and he trawled the local hotels for Ted and the two Norwegians I was supposed to be meeting for the millenium but had no idea where they were.  Emmanuel is his name. He fluctuates in age from 15-19 depending on what he wants.  Here's a picture.

Back to the millennium...there  was drinking, dancing, music, fireworks and lots of elevated prices but it was a very enjoyable night.  I learned how to do Amharic dancing (involves much shaking of the shoulders - they still ache) and Oromo dancing (basically exactly what Madness did in the eighties...I wonder if they got it from here?  They do have a song about the river Nile.).  Got very sweaty and went to bed at 5.

I got my frame welded, my bag re-stitched and a variety of spares.  Pretty much set for Sudan.  But first the Simiens....
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