Meeting My Second Exodus Tour Group
Trip Start Oct 11, 2012
39Trip End Nov 19, 2012
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I woke up later than I expected this morning - perhaps since I went to bed at midnight last night. I was pretty much packed up so I went to breakfast immediately - around 7 am - and had another hearty breakfast to keep me for the day. I gathered my belongings and dragged my bags downstairs only to have a porter grab the big bag at the bottom of the stairs. I can't remember now but I don't think I had any money to tip him. Getting my bill settled seemed to take ages as the desk clerk had a phone conversation in the middle and tried to figure out my laundry bill where I had listed leggings and tank top on the sheet and they had no standard fee amount for her to fill in. Finally that was resolved and I paid my bill. I asked about a transfer but ended up with a taxi to the Ghion Hotel.
I waited at the Ghion Hotel. First the Explore group arrived and then Kibrom came with the Exodus group
Sian and I went to our room and talked while getting our things in order. She lay down to rest for awhile after her night's flight and I worked on my postcards. I was able to get stamps for 5 of them so I will take them to the mailbox in the hotel tonight so I won't have to mail them in the morning since we are leaving at 5:15 AM.
At 1:30 pm, our group of 18 convened and set off for the National Museum. I got much more out of it this time because Kibrom gave us a guided tour and pointed out things of interest and explained them. Although the Museum collection might mean more to us once we have seen Axum and some of the other historical cities.
From there we went to the Church of the Holy Trinity that I had visited last time but I think I got some better photos this time. (hmmm, maybe not) After that we went to Menelik II's tomb, now the Church of Mary. Our bus dropped us off on a road up a hill to the church-mausoleum. Along the way were many vendors of candles and religious articles - crosses, etc. Many of the vendors were men in wheelchairs or people with other physical disabilities. We entered the church and Kibrom explained the 3 parts of the church. In this one, we went into the middle section and could see yet another enclosed area - the holy of holies - the 3rd part accessible only to the priests and deacons
This was the end of our afternoon tour and we returned to the hotel. Kibrom had briefed us about tipping and suggested that we appoint someone as our kitty caretaker. No one volunteered and Kibrom was selected to do the tipping with our combined kitty of 500 birr per person. He seemed OK with that. I wonder how often he gets stuck with the job.
In the lobby, Sian mentioned that she would like to eat and then go to sleep. Aga was standing near us and so all three of us decided to go directly to dinner. We ended up in the Ethiopian dining area of the Ghion Hotel and were given the Ethiopian menu. Both Sian and Aga decided to try a beef dish with the local honey spirit. I opted for the Ethiopian mixed meal. We were served a large plate with 3 pieces of injera and then our waitress brought some bowls with my mixed meal and spread it out in front of me
Now Sian and I are in our room settling in for the night and getting ready for our very early departure tomorrow morning.
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