Debre Libanos

In November of 2010 we returned to Ethiopia for our second adoption.  We were very busy and the time flew by.  We visited places we hadn’t the first time we traveled to Ethiopia in 2008 and Debre Libanos was a place I am so glad we went to.  It was on day 9 of our trip and after having to reschedule several times, we were finally headed to Debre Libanos.  I was so excited to go.  Debre Libanos is just a short distance north of Addis Ababa and would be only a day trip, but once you leave Addis Ababa the scenery changes so much.  The land is open with hills, patches of eucalyptus and toukouls.  You see shepherds with their cattle, horsemen riding and people carrying wood, water and other things along the road.

We passed thru smaller towns, the land all looked very dry until we neared Debre Libanos.  As we got closer we noticed more trees and the caught and impressive glimpse of the Blue Nile Gorge. 

We drove on to the monastery.  Considered by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to be one Ethiopia’s holiest sites, the original monastery was built in the 13th century but was destroyed and later rebuilt by Haile Selassie.

After touring the church we drove to the Portuguese Bridge, stopping only to photograph the gelada baboons.  Once we got out of the car, (and made sure an adult was holding on tightly to each of the three kids), we looked in amazement at the Blue Nile Gorge.  As we walked closer the edge literally just dropped away.  The gorge goes on and on while vultures soar overhead.  As we all hiked down and crossed the bridge,

we could hear wind and water.  We kept on going and arrived at a top pool where a goat ignored us while it drank the water.  Then we climbed down to a waterfall and stopped for a while to take in the view.

When we finally hiked back up we stopped for a drink at a restaurant at the top, owned by a couple who live there.  I am so glad we were able to go there.  This was definitely one of the highlights from our time spent in Ethiopia.  All three kids had a great enjoyed it and I hope the memories will last for them too.  Ethiopia is full of beauty and has such a long history, I look forward to returning.

-Jenny

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