Title image: Gondar Fortress, site of scenic ruins
The next stop on our Ethiopia tour is Gondar, the center of power for the Ethiopian kingdom between the 13th and 17th centuries.
Gondar: On the Way
On the way from Bahir Dar to Gondar we stopped at the community of Awra Amba, which is a kind of egalitarian commune. We never figured out how it differed from any other community other than men and women do the same jobs: women can plow the fields and men can weave.
We saw a typical kitchen:
Once we’re back on the road to Gondar, we’re back to gender-based roles:
The houses continue to be wooden in this part of the world.
Gondar: The Town
Here is the unpromising pathway to the Four Sisters Restaurant:
And here is the entrance to what turns out to be a very charming restaurant:
Gondar: The Fortress
The fortress is a series of seven castles, built by the successive rulers. It’s a site of atmospheric ruins. Here’s a view:
As I said in a previous post, the Star of David is a symbol of the Ethiopian kingdom which traces its lineage back to King Solomon. It is visible above the arch.
Then we went to the historical church:
which is remarkable for its ceiling with angel’s eyes going in every direction so you are always being watched out for (benignly, I suppose, is the idea)
Then it was on to some king’s swimming pool (drained, obviously)
Then I come on this image of a banyan tree whose roots are entwined with one side of the pool:
and I have to wonder, “Have I been too many places? This reminds me of Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, where I saw the exact same thing.”
So now I know what banyan trees do with historical structures around the world. Very sculptural.
Gondar: The Hotel
We stayed at the Goha Hotel. I liked the window screen in my room:
Gondar in specific, and Ethiopia in general, is nothing if not a visually variegated and stimulating experience.
See: All Africa Blogs
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen