Ethiopia 3 November: Axum - Bahir Dar

we concluded the big circle

We started our last stage in Axum, the old capital from the Aksumite Empire ( 100 - 940 AD). Big obelisk's witness still the former greatness of Ethiopia's kingdom...

...this broken obelisk weights over 500 tons!

..its also possible to visit the underground facilities...

This obelisk has been returned from Italy just a few years ago, as Mussolini's troups have taken it to Rome...

...no danger from this fellow...

...street life in Axum...

...probably the most controversal building in Ethiopia: St. Mary of Zion. It is said to house the Ark of the Covenant - figuring most prominently in the Old Testament....

..a drawing from the Ark...

...we were lucky to see the priest - he rarely makes an appearance as he spends his entire life in retreat guarding the sacred object...

...even the smallest ones drink tea..

..our last school in Ethiopia: a primary school in Axum.

..after the presentation (which took place in the Tigray language, not in Amharic - the national language) the kids formed a circle at the school grounds...

...we will miss the big smiles of Ethiopia!

...and the usual school stampede!

Thank you Axum for the heartfelt welcome!

...leaving Axum behind, we started our journey southwards - to close the circle all around Ethiopia.

...the road seemed to be perfect...

...lonely witnesses from a former Italian influence...

...surprisingly the road turned bad...

...more dusty....

...and very bad! Over 150km of dirt road under construction - going up and down through the most remote mountain region in Ethiopia. The 150 km took us 10 hours!!!

...the cheerful kids saved our moods...

...the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia's highest peaks - over 4500m. If it wouldn't have been for the bad roads, this part revealed the most beautiful region of Ethiopia.

...no goal in sight as the day ended in the middle of nowhere...

...and we reached Gondar, the former capital of Ethiopia...

Emperor Fasilides built the castle in the 17th century....

...it looks medieval...

...but no furniture...

...and no roof...

...we went on to Bahir Dar....

Habtamu, our driver. He did an incredible job this week. Thanks for keeping us safe!

....the countryside changed again...

...the roads were busy with thousands of people walking to the markets...

...we went out for some distance to run...

...and Kaspars tried to cheat...

...Bahir Dar: a beautiful sunset on Lake Tana. The lake is the source of the Blue Nile. It provides 80% of the water for the Nile when it unites with the White Nile in Khartoum, Sudan.

...once more a dusty road...

Our last km's in Ethiopia...

...the vultures are ready, in case you stay behind....

...we picked up a few kids on our way to the Blue Nile Falls.

..just above the falls...

...we crossed the Nile right above the Water Falls in a motor boat, but these people were quite brave to try without an engine...

..approaching the falls...

...majestic the Nile falls down many metres on its way to the Mediterranean Sea...

Our Ethiopian adventure came to an end. Our deepest gratitude to this beautiful country and its amazing people for hosting the Peace Run. Good bye and see you again soon!