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daniserralta Addis Ababa - A travel report by Dani
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Addis Ababa,  Ethiopia - flag Ethiopia
13806 readers

daniserralta's travel reports

Addis Ababa, Strange city, strange country.

  21 votes
Page: 1 2 3 4
Addis Ababa is not a place to writte postcards from. But is quite interesting due to the amazing culture, traditions and religion of the country. An African country but completely different to the rest of Africa.

Abyssinian Lion.
Abyssinian Lion.
Ethiopia is magic. Something there got my soul from the begining and I felt in love with the country, with the people, etc... Completely different to the black Africa and also to the Arabian Africa, wellcome to the Copt Africa. Coming, as I did, from Kenya and the rude africans, the Ethiopians seemed to me so nice, so gentle, do different. For the first time in a long time it was a pleasure to walk around without interferences of street sellers or flycatchers, etc. Addis Ababa, the capital, is really enormous city. It covers an amazing extension and is clearly divided in various areas, the old, the mercato, the modern, the embassies area, the univerities area the embassies and government area and the suburbs. Addis is growing by days with a millions of people comming from the poor rural areas ... but Addis is not much better. There's a lot of begaring, a lot. But over all there is an interesting city to visit, stay some days and introduce yourself in the Ethiopian culture.

Favourite spots:
There are many things to do in and around Addis Ababa. One great option is go to the mercato the biggest openair market in Africa. Amazing! You can find everything there, species, clothes, stuff, weapons, food, carpets, electronics, etc ... The mercato is in the middle of the capital city but is usual to see donkeys and goats all around trying to survive the chaotic traffic. The National Museum is also really interesting with many great pieces of their old and modern history. Since the old Lucy, one of the oldest known hominid in the world, and many dinosaur remaints to a great collection of art pieces from Aksum, Lalibella, Gonder, the Tana monasteries and actual paintings. There are also royal staff in there. Saint George cathedral is nice, specially if you are religious as really famous is Debre church on Entoto hill (After the US embassy) with their miracle water. ... mmm ... who knows!

What's really great:
Debre Libanos Mass.
Debre Libanos Mass.
For me the most special was Debre Libanos church. Is a one day excursion. A little more than a 100 kilometers from Addis Ababa. It was a big mass there when I went and was so special! My first coptic religious mass in Ethiopia. Was so nice and the people was really warm. I felt wellcome and the explanations that they gave me were great. No, I'm not copt now, I'm not religious at all, but was quite interesting cellebration. On the oder side of the rope there was one of the worst experiences that I have ever seen. I went to the zoologichal park .. what a mistake!! Please DON'T do it. I went to see the strange and in danger abyssinian lions, an amazing big lion with a great dark-black back hair. And there were they. 8 lions, 8 lionesses and some cubs in a high security prison. Kept by pairs in small jails, feeding them, using them as a tourist atraction beeing disturbed by locals shouting them from the other side of the bars. So sad, SO SAD!

Addis Ababa travelogue picture
There are some cinemas now showing old hollywood movies and new african or indian ones.
One big theather and many places to seat and chat with the locals.
A nice experience, if you have time, is go to the national stadium to see a football match. Quite exciting but not a great football, trust me!

There are many hotels and hostels all over the city.
From the Sheraton Hotel (The only place in Ethiopia where you can get cash from a Visa card!!! - Dashen Bank!!) to cheap hostels.
The backpacker cheapies are in the Piazza area.
There you can find the twoo best deals.
Baro Hotel, nice and with an open courtyard and Wutma hotel, small with an ultra-spicy food restaurant just in front of the Baro Hotel.
Some other names in other areas are the Ghion hotel near the train station, the Wanza hotel in Bole Road (to the airport) or the Buffet de la gare just behind the train station.
The cheapies are around 60 Birr the room per night.

Many, many, many options.
There are 5 restaurants per person!
Here is where you can clearly feel the italian influence cause of the great italian restaurants.
Oh! mmmmmm.... The unforgottable egg pizzas of the restaurants around Piazza!!! The best pizzas of all Africa, no doubt about it.
Also all kinds of pasta, and obviously the Ethiopian Injera.
The Injera is a kind of light bread plain, thin and circular, served with small pieces of well cooked hot meat.
You have to eat it cuting pieces of the bread and using it to take some meat to your mouth.
Is a nice experience cause sometimes is shared with some other locals and is a great chance to get in touch with them.

Other recommendations:
There's just one big bus station and is advisable to buy the bus tickets one day before cause are always full!
The journeys by bus usually take days because of the bad roads and the old buses.
1'5 days to Lalibella, the same to Bahar Dahr, one day to Awasa, etc ...
To or from Nairobi it can take up to 5 or 6 days.
There are minibuses too.
The bus is cheap and remember that they all depart at 06:00 in the moorning. No night buses.

Published on Tuesday July 4th, 2006

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Mon, Feb 11 2008 - 09:47 PM rating by krisek

A great one, and practical! Many thanks.

Wed, Aug 09 2006 - 03:09 AM rating by gloriajames

Interesting !!! 5*

Mon, Jul 31 2006 - 04:13 AM rating by ta-shy

Good health and high spirits!
Glad to see that you enjoyed part of Ethiopia.. I would like to correct something though. "Tej" is Ethiopian Wine made from pure honey from the comb cooked with hops. The bread your talking about is called "Injera" a sourdough sponge like bread made from "tef flour" a type of grain only found in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia the bread is a brownish color while in Canada and probably else where in the western world it is white due to the difference in flour. p.s. Did you notice that all across africa, every country or city had the "largest" market in all Africa!!

Fri, Jul 14 2006 - 03:26 AM rating by marianne

This report shows that you really loved the city. You give very good practical information always very useful for travellers who want to go.

Mon, Jul 10 2006 - 01:02 PM rating by barcelona

Molt be

Sun, Jul 09 2006 - 03:18 AM rating by mistybleu

I'm so envious, what a fantastic place. Nice report.

Sat, Jul 08 2006 - 08:02 AM rating by jorgesanchez

Muy bien chaval!

Thu, Jul 06 2006 - 01:48 PM rating by st.vincent

I don't think I will ever visit Addis Ababa so it was especially interesting to read about it - thanks

Wed, Jul 05 2006 - 09:16 AM rating by jesusferro

Report very chevere and lindo! Very useful, plenty info. With pictures you deserve 10 points. Congratulations pibe!

Wed, Jul 05 2006 - 01:41 AM rating by davidx

A most interesting report on what sounds an exceptional place.

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