ETHIOPIA Layover- Coffee, Culture and History.
Ethiopia the country which once suffered from famine in the 70s has today become the fastest growing economies of the world. The country exports coffee to half of the world and it is also the only country in Africa which was never colonized.
Ladies and gentlemen welcome to Ethiopia a country which has more than 100 ethnic tribes, a country where love is practiced more over religion and the country which gave Coffee to the World.
ETHIOPIA Layover – Top things to do and places to see in Addis Ababa.
I landed around 12am in Addis Ababa the capital city of Ethiopia. As you know when the entire world has summers, we in Africa have winters.It was a cold night and little did I know that it was going to be a long night.When I land in a new country there 2 things I look for 1st the exchange and 2nd the local sim card.I easily managed to achieve my task at the airport -changed 300 $ and got a local sim. Took a cab outside the airport and headed to my hotel which was just booked for 1night.The reason I booked the hotel for 1 night was that of its infamous nightclub.
Nightlife in Ethiopia is buzzing and it was Saturday night.By the time I arrived in the club people were already in high spirits.It didn’t take me long to join the party and make some new friends. Beautiful girls, good music and some nice Ethiopian beer was the perfect start to my trip of Ethiopia.
The next morning I woke up pretty early which means I hardly slept.There is 1 rule I follow when I travel is to start the day as early as possible so I can cover most the places.
Next stop was
2.) Medhane cathedral
Ethiopia is religious and mainly a Christian nation. The city boasts a lot of churches and one such is Medhane Alem cathedral.It is the largest Orthodox church in Ethiopia and also the 2nd largest cathedral in Africa.
Medhane Alem Cathedral is a captivating site and another place to discover the life of local people in Addis Ababa.
Medhane Alem Cathedral, the name means “Saviour of the World”.
I then headed to try the most famous Ethiopian coffee. There was Kaldis shop and its considered to be the best coffee shops in the country.
Some say Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee. Ancient legends tell the story of Kaldi an Ethiopian goat herder trough to be the first to discover the mystical properties of coffee. He was so amazed at the dancing of his goats after they had eaten berries from a nearby tree that he decided to try some of these ripe red cherries for himself. The pleasant stimulating effect they produce led him to share his discovery with the local monks.Monks started boiling these berries with water and realized how it helped them to be awake for long pray hours
COFFEE was Finally BORN
I was still sleepy but 1 cup of strong Ethiopian coffee was enough make to sure I’m awake.Kaldis is the most famous coffee shop in Ethiopia and it serves most authentic coffee.I now head to check out and check in the most famous hotel in Ethiopia
The Sheraton Hotel is in a castle-like compound and when you are there, it’s hard to believe the chaos of Addis Ababa is even anywhere close. There are some perks of being a travel blogger and 1 of them is the good deals you get with hotels. I got the best room with a view to die for.The 5-star hotel has everything you can imagine and they also have a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony in the lobby.
It was now time for some lunch and I also had to fix a driver for the rest of the places in my itinerary.The security guards are the best people for this kind of things and within no time Mr. Abdul was in my service. So we headed to Katenga restaurant which serves the traditional Ethiopian food and is considered to be the best in town.
It’s the colors that you first notice about Ethiopian food. The dishes look like children’s paint sets purple beetroot, orange carrots, green cabbage, and the unmistakable, rich reddish spice mix.
I’m eating Bayenetu traditional Ethiopian dish and considered to be the national dish of Ethiopia.
Ethiopians fasts on every Wednesday and Friday, so this is the reason this is called fasting meal.
It has only vegetables and no meat.
The best place to this is Katenga restaurant
Too much food and it was time to head for another beautiful church .
6.)St George Cathedral
So whether you are a history buff or you just want to spend a day inside an ancient church while learning history, St George Cathedral is definitely a must visit for you. It’s an octagon-shaped church which is completely unique and that surely will be the first thing you will notice.
Sun was about to set and also it was getting colder we then decided to call it a day but on our way to the hotel we stopped by the station
7.) Main Railway station
This is the oldest railway station in Ethiopia and it actually goes back around 100 years.
I then decided to spend the night in a hotel and slept quite early.
The next day started with grand breakfast which the hotel staff had prepared, the only disappointment was the coffee which was nowhere close to traditional.
Mr. Abdul was back and I asked him to stop by Kaldis to get a fresh cup of coffee
Our first stop was –
8.)National Museum of Ethiopia
The national museum of Ethiopia is located right in the center of the city very close to Addis Ababa University.
The museum holds some of Ethiopia’s bygone and artistic treasures as well as the most precious archaeological finding of the remains of early hominids. The fossil of a 3.5-million-year-old skull of “Lucy” which is displayed in there and is the highlight of the museum.
After the museum, we leave to drink some Tej
T’ej simply means wine in Amharic, the official language of Ethiopia. It is a bright orange colored honey wine made of water, honey and some exotic leaves. It smells like a chemical but is sweet due to honey and so far was the strongest wine I had in Africa. It is also the national drink of Ethiopia.
It’s been drunk in a small glass with narrow necks which looks like an apparatus from your chemistry Laboratory. One of the interesting things about Tej is it can be only drunk in Tej Bets.Tej bets are bars only serving Tej and have been there for centuries. It’s a nice experience to have Tej in Ethiopia.
My journey in Ethiopia was coming to an end and had to say a final goodbye to Mr. Abdul and the beautiful girl in the above picture.One last hot cup of Ethiopian coffee was all I needed.
“A Coffee and love taste best when hot ”
Famous Ethiopian Proverb
Layovers is a personal travel blog which was started by Baba Aka Karanveer .He currently works as Cabin crew for a well known international airline that flies all over the world.He loves traveling to new countries where he explores the culture, the city, and its food. He hopes to inspire you to live a life you love and settle for nothing less than extraordinary.