The Julian effect

My first experience of sub-Sahara Africa.

It could have started badly, because the day I arrived (7 January) was Christmas. Luckily it was 11pm by the time I discovered this, so I was able to see it off easily. Two Christmases in two weeks. Enough to make your toes curl.

It’s 2004 here, not 2012. New Year falls in September. They never got around to the Gregorian calendar.

I’d decided to give the credit card a good kicking, and chose to stay at the Hilton. It has a pool & gym. Sounds a bit foo foo, but plenty hotels here struggle to provide hot water all day. In some, even the cold water is unreliable.

very pleasant

Today it was out into the city for a half day tour. Emperor Haile Selassie’s tomb at Kiddist Selassie – eat your hearts out all you Rastafarians.

Ethiopian Orthodox

The National Museum to check out Lucy.

Up into the Entoto Hills to see Emperor Menelik II’s palace.

main entrance

That took my breath away. Literally, not metaphorically. Something to do with going through the 8,000 ft barrier I suppose. I’d run & cycled for about 75 minutes all told in the gym on Sunday with no ill effects (the city is at 7,500 ft), so I was surprised that a small set of stairs took my puff away.

Harking back to one of my posts on Saturday, Bole Airport was a dream compared to Edinburgh. Immigration took 5 minutes (and only that long because I didn’t know to complete a landing card). The officer just smiled sweetly, and let me complete the bare essentials at her desk. No fuss. My bags took no more than 5 minutes. About 5 minutes after that I was on my way to the hotel’s shuttle.

If Addis Ababa can do it, why not Edinburgh?

© iain taylor 2012

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