After recovering from a bit of fatigue and jet lag on April 3, today I hit the streets and poked around to see what Addis has to offer. Its a huge city (fourth largest in Africa), but the traffic is a bit more manageable that in the big cities of India where I have just come from. I bought a phrasebook to Amharic, the national language and have been brushing up a bit.
I have also met quite a few interesting travelers at the Tiatu Hotel where I am staying. There are many overland cyclists who have endured 50C (130F) temperatures crossing north Sudan who are staying here. One Polish cyclist named Michael started in northern Norway and is riding to Cape Town. Impressive! He has already been rolling for 11 months and he figures it will take him eight more to reach the end of Africa.
Below are some images from the Piazza area here in Addis.
Construction Project, Piazza, Addis Abbaba
Sunrise near the Tiatu Hotel, Piazza, Addis Abbaba
Sunset on the balcony at the Tiatu Hotel, Piazza, Addis Abbaba
Donkeys and Cargo, Piazza, Addis Ababa,
Street Scene, Piazza, Addis Ababa,
This morning I had a chance to meet an inspirational man named Mitchell K. Mitchell is a world-renowned photographer and eBook publisher. Back in February of last year when I began designing my website, I found his site by goggling for "Travel Photography." Since then I've subscribed to his rss updates and enjoyed seeing his images as he travels the globe with his wife.
I emailed him in December when I bought my flights to Ethiopia asking him "want to shoot together in Ethiopia?" His response was "I'm already in Ethiopia!" I was lucky to catch him here in the capital before he ventured to the south of the country. I emailed Mitchell after I arrived. "I am in the Taitu Hotel room 200." His response seconds later; "I'm in room 120." I had no idea he was even here in Addis or where he was staying.
His photographic work here in Ethiopia is amazing. He has an practiced ability to capture the human component of a culture and is quite a strong writer too. He shared a few of his ebooks with me via DropBox and I've enjoyed reading them. If you want to learn more about photography, I highly recommend checking his website out.
Today I also worked worked on some upcoming logistics. After a long mental debate, I decided I would fly to the north of the country and work my way back overland. The bus travel here is supposedly pretty rough and it takes two days (each way) to reach Lalibela by land. This will mark my first ever domestic flight taken outside of the states. I usually prefer to travel overland as it is a better way to see the country. Since I will be returning south overland via a similar route as I would have traveled north, I don't feel like I'll be missing much. I'm leaving tomorrow on a morning Ethiopian Airlines flight to Lalibela. I've heard mainly bad reviews from fellow travelers about Lalibela. Scams, pay more for whitey and begging children, but I figure I should to see it for myself.