Ethiopia: Addia Ababa
Posted July 16, 2013 by Rahul Aggarwal
Africa had been on our destination wish list for some time, so I was relieved when the flight finally touched down on Ethiopian soil. I was last in Eastern Africa as a wide-eyed backpacker in 2003, when I had visited better known Kenya and Tanzania. Like most in the West, I had read and seen pictures of famine and poverty but now better informed, I was genuinely excited at visiting a country, to which we actually all owe so much – more about why later...
My guide for the northern part of my trip was Andrea, a proud Ethiopian of Italian heritage. Ethiopia had been temporarily occupied by Italy when Mussolini was playing catch up with his European counterparts and expand into Africa. Andrea explained when the Italians were defeated in 1946, most returned to their homeland, although many chose to stay back as they had business interests in the country as well as a growing attachment with the people here.
Later in the afternoon I went on to visit the museum showcasing ‘Lucy’ – the remains of the oldest human skeleton ever found. There is more-or-less universal agreement that humans first evolved from Ethiopia, making this country the birthplace of humankind. Quite a title. From there we drove up the hills to Entoto, which had stunning panoramic views of Addis. Any images I had of Ethiopia being a barren land were immediately dispelled by the view of lush green mountains. I wrapped up the day with a hearty Italian meal before calling it a night.
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