Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 6 – Off to Lalibela! January 26

Certainly the best things that have ever been created are:
1.     1.  Water (sorry Kellie – had to steal that one from you)
2.      2. Duct Tape
3.      3. Rain-X
4.      4. Ciprofloxacan (Here is a shout to Nurse Barb at Calvin College)

Thanks to 750mg dose of Cipro, recommended by Nurse Betsy Bascom, my stomach aliments from last night subsided. Just in time!  

This morning we caught a flight to Lalibela from Bahir Dar. Then we drove from the airport to the town to our hotel called the Jerusalem hotel. Here is our hotel room view.

So what is Lalibela?  Lalibela is a place of wonder and majesty! One author writes it like this,

“The strange, isolated town of Lalibela, set high in the mountains of Lasta, is famed for its rock-hewn churches, and is arguably the one place in Ethiopia that no tourist should miss. Known as Roha until recent times, Lalibela was the capital of the Zagwe dynast, which ruled over Ethiopia from the 10th century to the mid 13th century, and its modern name derives from that of the most famous of the Zagwe rulers, the 12-century King Lalibela” (Unknown Author, page 335) – got it from J. Bascom’s files

On our way to the rock churches, a follow-up to the most religious day in Ethiopia called Timket (one week ago across Ethiopia) came upon us. They crowd was singing and dancing (and are still as of 10PM at night here in the town) to bring back a famous picture of Saint George to the Saint George church in town. I’ve read the story of Saint George slaying the dragon and that is what the painting is of. I have a video, but I am not sure if I can put it up on the blog yet. Here are some pictures at least. 

The churches of Lalibela are so amazing. These are not little churches cut into the rock. They are HUGE!!  There are two structure complexes a Northwest cluster and a Southeast cluster. Here are some initial pictures of the North west cluster that we took today. 

Bet Medhane Alem

 Bet Medhane Alem
 At Bet Meskal

 Bet Mayam

 Back entrance

We met two others there, Moshei from Isreal and Jesus from Spain. They joined us in this adventure to save a little on a tour guide, who ended up costing too much so he left and we went on our own with just some simple explanatory material. We have a guide for tomorrow at 8AM, which should be fun!

To end our day we had some Saint George beer, which is the oldest brewed draft in Ethiopia and comes from Gonder in the north (yes, you should look up a map and find it and Lalibela). Here is a painting of Saint George slaying the dragon shown in Bet Danaghel at Lalibela.

I decided to settle my stomach a little further and had some Ethiopian wine instead. Diner was fun with Moshei as we discussed a variety of things, including travel, Israel, faith, and Ethiopia.


  1. Hey Jason! I got to spend time with your wonderful family today. Kellie passed your blog along. Both Mark and I enjoyed reading/looking at the photos this evening. Keep up the good work! Looks and sounds like a unique experience. Blessings - Kate

  2. Thanks so much Kate and Mark! Thanks for encouraging Kellie and the kids!! Ethiopia is pretty amazing!

  3. The wine you had, was it tej?