Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 8 – Gonder Glory January 28

Today we left Lalibela for Gonder, another city in the north. Having a tremendous amount of history, the city of Gonder has been home to many kings of Ethiopia and a key access point to the land to the north. It his situated about 180 kilometers north of Bahir Dar. 

We flew to Gonder from Laliblea (the ticket was $35). Kindly the university had a driver waiting for us and we traveled into the city to see the famous castle of Gonder and the most beautiful church in the country.

The castle was very impressive. Not only was it a joy to walk through and hear the vast history of all the occupants, but the grounds kept expanding further and further. The footprint was quite large indeed!
I can’t possible do it justice, so you will need to investigate more thoroughly on your own, but in the meantime here are some pictures to inspire your pursuit of new knowledge:

The church was  located on one of the 7 hills on which Gonder sits. The priest was gone, so the church was locked. L. We took pictures on the outside. It is apparently the only rectangular shaped church in the country and resembles the Jewish Temple that twice stood in Jerusalem. The interior has paintings telling the Biblical story of Jesus’s life to death to resurrection. There is also a map of Ethiopia I have been told. The ceiling is impressive as J. Bascom described. There are something like 104 angels painted on the ceiling looking to the four corners of the earth. At the front of the church, in front of the curtain to the Holy of Holies stands a cross and at the foot of the cross is carved the leader of the country who sits at the foot of the cross in need of the saving grace of Christ.  Wish I could have seen it with my own eyes – another time in another visit perhaps?  Here are some pictures from the outside:

We then drove south to Bahir Dar with our fast driver. I just got a few pics of the amazing landscape. 

In Gonder

 Just a tree I liked

Man in papyrus boat just at the head waters of the Blue Nile at Lake Tana

Back to our home for this week at Bahir Dar. It's a pleasant 75 degrees each day. Sorry everyone who is in the snow right now.

 Yep, definitely back in Bahir Dar. I love these things. and only 1 Birr! (That would be about 4 cents per ride).

Tomorrow, geography faculty arrive and we begin the mapping a new digital geography of Ethiopia in the evening with 24 Ethiopian geography faculty representing all the departments across the country.

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