Lalibela

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After a whole day travelling through the Ethiopian valleys of accentuated curves, I finally arrived to the city of the rock-hewn churches. On the way from Addis Ababa I overnight in Waldiye. The views of the mountains from the roads as we go up keep getting better and better. I discovered new Ethiopian dishes in the way, which keep amazing me how tasty they can make a meal out of beans or lentils and a few spices.

Lalibela is a touristic town not only for foreigners. Ethiopians consider this a holy city, since Emperor Lalibela made it the capital of the Ethiopian Empire on the 12th century and built the churches. This is probably one of the most religious cities in Ethiopia.

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These churches are so famous because they were not built upwards, but instead they were carved down from the ground, each from one single piece of rock . Unfortunately, the entrance to see the 11 churches is 50 dollars. This town depends on tourism as it is the main industry. As a matter of a fact, so many people approach you on the streets to insistingly sell you something or offer themselves as tour guides.

The churches are amazing though.

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Some churches are small, others are big. Many of the churches are connected through a network of tunnels and passages. There are also holes in some walls where people put their head and even half their body inside to pray.

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The churches are decorated inside with paintings, curtains and carpets; there are usually no sculptures and the paintings are in a Byzantine style. You have to take your shoes off to go inside. Orthodox women wear a veil when going to church and sometimes in the street but not necessarily.

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Besides the churches and the beautiful valley it’s interesting to see the traditional rondavel houses of two stores, and there is a market on Saturdays that gets completely crowded.

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I left Lalibela to go to Mekelle, not knowing of the incredible experience I would have a few days later.

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Author: ubuntutravelblog

I'm from Argentina and I have a passion for traveling. On April '16 I started a trip around Africa and I created this blog to share this adventure with my family and friends.

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