The beauty of Ethiopia is among the best in Africa. Ethiopia is the 28th largest country in the world, covering 1,104,300 km2 (426,400 sq mi), which is located near the Horn of Africa in the Indian Ocean. The country has a population of more than 105 million people. The country has the second highest population on the continent. The country became landlocked after the 1991 civil war, when Eritrea, on the Red Sea’s coast, seceded from Ethiopia.
What You Need to Know About Ethiopia
It is fascinating to learn about the history of Ethiopia. The country was the only one in Africa to never have been a colony, along with much smaller Liberia. The continent was colonized as a whole, so this allowed the country to develop its own distinctive culture. The official language of Ethiopia is Amharic. The language belongs to the Semitic family, which includes Hebrew and Arabian.
Calendar and time
Due to their independence, or for some other reason, Ethiopia has developed some peculiar customs over the years. In the first place, they use more than one calendar. Ethiopian calendars, sometimes called Ge’ez calendars, are well known. The old Coptic calendar forms the basis for this calendar. Considering the difference between the Western and Julian calendars, don’t be surprised if you land in Ethiopia two weeks after taking off.
Keeping their own time is another confusing thing about Ethiopia. There is no midnight start to the day, but rather 6 AM (06:00). Throughout most of the year, that’s the sunrise, which the Ethiopians consider the natural beginning of the day. The time can be confusing in Ethiopia, so be sure to ask locals how the day and date are. It is not uncommon to find foreigners incapable of telling time, and they will be glad to assist them.
Everything closes between noon and two o’clock for lunch. So, if you have any plans that involve visiting anything during that time, cancel them and go out for lunch as the locals do.
It is common for travelers and foreign visitors to ask if Ethiopia is a safe place to visit. Obviously, yes. The country is as safe for a woman traveling alone as any other Western country. Due to the majority Christian population, they do not hold the same prejudices against women as their Islamic neighbors. The fact remains, Ethiopia does not operate like Western countries and a certain degree of chaos and disorganization cannot be ruled out. The only way to stop it is to get annoyed, which will ruin your vacation. You just need to relax, go with the flow, and keep your plans flexible.
Make sure you use the local guides for an experience you won’t forget. They are extremely helpful and can help you better understand the country and its people. If you try to keep up with all the local sites without a guide, you will have a much harder time untangling centuries of historical relationships. Many other countries have local guides who will gladly rip off or outright scam tourists when they get the chance. It is not like that in Ethiopia, and guides take great pride in the work they do.
It would be impossible to visit Ethiopia without seeing Lalibela. The sight of it will take your breath away, regardless of whether you are religious or not. There are many outstanding rock-cut monolithic churches in this spectacular town in Lasta Amhara Region. It is a place of pilgrimage and one of Ethiopia’s holiest sites. It was Ethiopia that adopted Christianity in the time of the apostles. There are many churches in Lalibela that date back to the 7th century, even though many of them were built later. Lalibela’s development was believed to have started in earnest in 1187, under the rule of King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela. They claim Lalibela was intended by king Gebre to replace Jerusalem as Christianity’s holiest site after Saladin captured it.
It is estimated that there are 11 rock-hewn churches near and in Lalibela, which was added to the World Heritage List in 1978 by Unesco. They all follow the same principle. The church was carved and shaped out of a living rock. This hasn’t been done on the same scale anywhere else in the world, except perhaps in Petra.
There is no doubt that the Church of Saint George is the most famous example. King Gebre Mesqel himself commissioned the building of the church after seeing Saint George in a vision. He spared no expense when building the church in order to recreate Jerusalem. The church is the last rock-hewn structure in the region. The cross-shaped structure is carved from volcanic rock. It appears as if the church is completely inaccessible because a deep trench surrounds it on all sides. It took 25 meters by 25 meters by 30 meters to create a massive hole in the rock, and the church was positioned in the middle of it, only accessible by a narrow passage.
It is divided into two groups, Northern and Eastern, by other churches in the area. The Western Group consists of only one church, the Church of Saint George. It is worth visiting the other ten churches as well, but some stand out more than others. The Axum kings built the Biete Amanuel underground chamber. One of the oldest churches of the eleven is Biete Maryam, or the House of Mary.
It’s not just the churches that draw visitors to Lalibela. Visit some of the interesting and unique vernacular architecture examples if you are in the area.
Tips For Solo Travelers
The first things that probably come to mind when you think of Ireland are the amazing pubs, the breathtaking landscapes, the color green, and the extremely friendly people. The number of things you can see and do there, if you’ve done your research before reading this article, must seem overwhelming.
If you are considering visiting Ireland alone and find yourself in this situation, this article could be extremely helpful to you. Here are some things you should know before getting on a plane headed to Ireland, along with some things you should see and do there. Here is a closer look at the list:
What You Should Know Before Going
When planning a trip, there are various factors that you should take into account, and that is no different for Ireland. Here are some things you’ll need to know:
1. You Will Need to Pack Various Things
The first thing you should pack is a raincoat, no matter what the season is – especially since there are heavy rains in the summer as well. You should also pack boots and leggings if you intend on doing any adventurous activities like hiking or mountain climbing.
2. Where to Stay And What to Eat
You should know that almost all hotels will charge for a double room, so it is better to go with a hostel that offers single rooms. It is not strange for an Irish person to dine alone, therefore, know that all restaurants will provide you with a comfortable dining experience. There are also affordable prices, but it depends where you choose to eat, as you know.
3. The Safety And Emergency Lines
The crime rate in Ireland is extremely low compared with some European countries. You can travel alone in smaller cities with a great deal of safety. You should also get travel insurance as another precaution.
A travel insurance policy is essential if you plan to participate in activities like hiking, mountain climbing, or other potentially dangerous activities.
It is common for policemen and policewomen to be called “Gardai”, which means “the Guards” – and they are present in most large cities. You can call an ambulance or fire department by dialing 999, which is also the number for the fire department. If you are a woman traveling alone, you do not need to worry about anything because it is incredibly safe for women to travel alone as well.
Things That You Should Experience While Traveling Alone
There are many things to see and do in Ireland, so if I listed them all, this article would probably take a couple of hours to read. The following list features the must-sees and dos while in this lovely country. You should definitely see and do the following:
1. You Will Definitely Want to Visit The Amazing Pubs
The first thing that comes to mind when you think of Irish culture is an Irish pub. It is there that you will be able to make new friends, try real Irish beer, and fulfill a dream by playing real darts instead of electronic ones. It might surprise you when you find yourself heading back to your hostel at 3 am after a night of mingling with people if your goal is to meet new people. Just pay a round of drinks for the pub visitors.
2. Spend One Day Exploring the Nature
There are many reasons to visit Ireland – from the amazing culture and history to the hospitable people and the delicious food and beverages – but one of the main reasons that people choose to return to Ireland is its incredible natural beauty. It is for this reason that you should wear your hiking boots, head out into the wilderness, and enjoy getting lost.
3. If Planned Right, You Can Attend The St Patrick’s Day Festival!
If you plan on visiting Ireland during March, you should undoubtedly attend the festival organized for St Patrick’s Day – which is celebrated all around the world. The day is also celebrated by them as a symbol of acceptance, togetherness, and luck in addition to Saint Patrick being their patron saint.
4. Ireland Has Long Been a Symbol of Finding Inner Peace
Your inner peace can be found in solitude. You can learn about yourself through exploring Ireland’s sacred locations and remote areas, and participating in meditation and yoga retreats. This is the perfect location for those who want to isolate themselves from everyday life, but is also ideal for those who want to spend quality time alone.
5. Visit Amazing Museums, Galleries, And Attractions
You should definitely not miss visiting the wide variety of attractions, galleries, and museums Ireland has to offer. The National Museums and National Galleries will allow you to see some of the most beautiful artworks in the world. If you are a beer enthusiast, the Guinness Storehouse is highly recommended.
6. Go to Live Music And Dance Gigs
Besides its music and dance, Ireland is also known for its traditional dances. If you’re like me, you’re probably a big fan of these things, and that’s exactly why you need to attend a live music or dance show while you’re here. Your memories of seeing these things live will probably be some of your favorite ones that you will talk about and cherish forever.
You can see that there are many reasons why you might want to visit Ireland. There are also delicious foods and beverages to enjoy along with the amazing people and landscapes. It also allows you to spend that time relaxing, thinking about what you want to do, and making friends that will last a lifetime when you travel alone.
The best thing to do before your trip, as well as places to visit once in green Ireland, is to start planning your trip as soon as possible!