Saturday, April 19, 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

aksum

Posted by Hippo Bean at 11:59 PM
Woke up with a mosquito bite on my right foot.

The stelae proved to be quite more interesting than I first thought. The tallest one still standing had carvings on all sides, while the shorter one was carved only on the front. the biggest and tallest one had since fallen down and the broken blocks were left lying on the ground. Under the stelae, there were tombs of ancient kings. Today was windy and the dust was blowing making those who breath miserable. I walked around with a scarf covering my nose and mouth.

The St Mary of Zion church, exactly like I've seen on TV, was green with blue windows. it was where the original ark of the covenant was kept, but now they've built a more modern church next to it, a new house for the tablets. The museum had wonderful crowns, crosses, garments and other treasures of the church. very nice pieces but photos were not allowed. Next door was a new church, a circular structure just like all the ethiopian churches, with bright colorful paintings and the deacon showed us the holy book, much like the illuminated manuscripts, except instead of latin, it was in geez, the old language that gave way to amharic.

in the afternoon, we visited the Queen Sheba bath, a dirty looking green pool where people stripped and swam in the supposed holy waters. then we saw the Ezana inscription, the ethiopian rosetta stone, a stone stele written in Geez, sabean and greek, to announce the king's victories over his enemies. Just up the hill, more royal tombs and more children pestering you to give them pens or buy souvenirs. Very annoying. We drove to see the ruins of the Palace of Queen Sheba. And it was just ruins and the palace looked too small to be a royal palace. Most likely it was just a house of someone rich.


We spent the rest of the day walking around the town of Axum to do souvenir shopping and I bought a colorful ethiopian basket. Axum, once the mighty empire capital of the legendary Queen Sheba, was now nothing but a small town, with broken roads and rundown stone buildings. Walking back to the hotel, we caught a bajaj, a small blue car with 3 wheels, the ethiopian taxi. With all 4 of us inside it and the driver, the bajaj had trouble making up the small incline to the hotel and we had to bail about 3/4 ways up. it was a fun ride nonetheless. Mr Bean would have a field day with the bajaj. not wanting the bad food at the hotel, we went to another hotel for a late buffet dinner. tonight was Easter eve and everyone would be attending church from midnite to 3am, so there was a lot of commotion and people on the streets. tomorrow, everyone will sleep in and get ready for the big feast on doro wat (chicken stew) with injara, after the 50 days of lent fasting. I was so tired and I could barely keep my eyes open after dinner. even with the stuffy hot hotel room, and bed smelling of eucalyptus lemon, that bed was welcome.

Aksum photos:

aksum

0 comments :

 

HippoBlog Copyright © 2012 Design by Antonia Sundrani- Vinte e poucos