Sunday, September 9, 2012

addis to my list

It was wet arriving in Addis Ababa, which shouldn't have come as a surprise as it is the end of the wet season. What did catch me by surprise was that it was cold. Whaaaa.. Africa...cold? But if I had done my research a little better I would have discovered it sits at 2335m, so cool is to be expected.

I did discover however, that domestic flights are very cheap IF bought in the country. I visited the nearest Ethiopian Airlines office as soon as I had checked in at my hotel and booked flights to Axum (in the far north and only about 50km from the Eritrean border), then on to Lalibela (home of the famous rock cut churches), then to Gondar to see the castles (thence by bus to Bahir Dar) and finally fly back to Addis. These four flights came to a total of AU$208.

Addis didn't seem to offer me a great deal of reason to hang around - but unfortunately as I arrived very close to the Ethiopian New Year, I was unable to get kmy first flight to Axum until 4 days later. So I grit my teeth and forged my way into the Addis environs to see what I could glean from the capital.

One of my first destinations was the National Museum where I knew there was a cast of "Lucy" - the oldest hominid skeleton found ( Australopithecus Afarensis). The museum was small and in desperate need of a facelift. The exhibits were an eclectic array of items from prehistoric pottery, royal thrones and regalia, military medals of Ethiopian war heroes and others assorted items of historic and/or ethnic importance. The show cases looked at least 50 years old and desperately needed a spot of windex.

nat mus

The city itself is in a bit of a state. I spent a good deal of my time wandering around the city looking for the 'upmarket' parts as purely an aesthetic relief from the run down appearance of the place. Unfortunately I never found them!

addis street

addis street 2

addis street 3



So I spent a fair bit of time back in my hotel. I have been staying in the Piazza area - somewhere that had been given a good recommendation. I have NO idea why. It is simply a place where the beggars, shysters and annoying children (who need at least 5 No Thank You's before they finally get the message that you don't want to buy their chewing gum/tissues/crocheted rastafarian beanies) were more densely packed.

My first night was spent in a cheap hotel with good recommendations - but after one night in sheets that were damp and clammy, and the tiniest bathroom possible (the door to which was so narrow I had to walk in sideways) with hot water that dripped from the shower rose, I moved across the road to another hotel with an equally small bathroom but better water pressure, dry linen AND wi-fi in the room!!

shower configuration

barely a door

It was a long four days.

1 comment:

genaye said...

omg! who made your recommendations? staying at a hotel with that kind of shower in Addis is crazy and that door hilarious, so sorry, Any how...