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Getting to know valiant Ethiopia!

It’s been a few years that I have been transiting through Ethiopia, the elusive landlocked country that is located in the ‘Horn of Africa’.

With excellent flight connections to all corners of the African continent, good on-time performance, least connecting time between flights, comfortable aircrafts, efficient airport hub at the highest (nearly 8000 feet amsl) capital city Addis Ababa, warm & friendly in-flight crew, backed by a professional, approachable & pro-active sales and reservations team back home in Mumbai, it is hardly a surprise that Ethiopian Airlines has evolved into the perfect brew for a great airline choice that has been in the skies since 78 years!

The fact that Ethiopia is also where the quintessential energising yet relaxing characteristics of the precious coffee bean were identified, simply increases my respect for this land of mystery.
The December that we just bid-adieu to, is when I finally decided to break my journey & set foot in this nation of the brave that is only one of the two countries in the continent of Africa, that were never colonized by any external forces, despite attempts by several. Hence it is pure & authentic!
My day began on a very astonishing note – my guide for the city tour of Addis Ababa (meaning the “New Flower”) set a challenge for me to find litter / plastic waste on the road. So high was his level of confidence that I wouldn’t find any, was a testimony to how fiercely the locals respect their surroundings, needless to say I happily failed at the challenge indeed.
I was rather naïve & unwary of receiving the magnitude of history, culture, gastronomy, bio-diversity, natural beauty, original ideologies and landmark achievements that my brilliant story-teller guide, Fitsum Kibreab deftly managed to share in fleeting moments that passed far too quickly without a single moment of lull.
Two words that I could conjure for this astounding country – ‘Mysterious & Mesmerising!’

It is in Ethiopia that you uncover the fascinating history of Queen Sheba & King Solomon of Israel.

You learn an intriguing fact about Ethiopia that the country follows its own calendar ‘the Old Julian’ & also follows its unique way of reading time.
The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century ‘New Jerusalem’ are situated in Lalibela a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia. It is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, a place of pilgrimage and devotion.

The most well-known human ancestor fossil nicknamed ‘Lucy’ after the Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was excavated right here in Ethiopia.
‘Rastafarianism’ – the revitalization movement for the Afro-Jamaicans which has followers from the Reggae music genre, derived its inspiration from Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia.
This, and many such stories have the ability to leave us mere travellers bound under the spell of Ethiopia. One may not always have the time to extend a trip by several days, but I would urge those who look at the world a bit differently to partake in the experience that is Ethiopia, albeit for a few hours between flights!

How can you achieve this?

Ethiopian Airlines & the highlight called SkyLight!

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Credit for the images used on this website are attributed to – The Governors Camp Collection, Wilderness Safaris, Wild Horizons, Lemala Camps & Lodges, The Zanzibar Collection & Graham Simmonds
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