Sunday, August 12, 2012

Gonder, Ethiopia

We flew to Gonder this weekend for a little family getaway.  We hadn't been out of the city as a family since February so it was a much needed escape from muddy Addis Ababa.  Not that Gonder was dry.  It rained quite a bit but everything was so green and there is so much history to see and explore that we didn't mind the wet terrain.

First things first.  Gonder or Gondar?  Justin explained to me that in Amharic it's pronounced somewhere in between and er and ar sound.  I'm going with Gonder because it's the way it's spelled at the airport.

We flew very early Friday morning and arrived to our lodge early enough that we enjoyed breakfast before having the entire day to explore.  Saturday was another full day of exploration.  Our two days were full of castles, ancient churches, stories of righteous and not so righteous Kings, Ethiopian coffee ceremonies and food, horse drawn cart rides up into the mountains, bird watching and relaxing roadside cafes.

Our accommodations were a quaint and comfortable hotel called Lodge du Chateau.  The garden courtyard is lined with small but comfortable thatched roofed rooms.   Breakfast is a highlight at the lodge. The open air terrace sits at the top of a staircase above the rooms and has beautiful views in every direction.

In the early morning it's cool and damp outside and this weekend the Orthodox churches from every corner were chanting mass starting at 5AM for fasting season. This only added to atmosphere.  We had a view of the misty green mountains from the roof top dinning area.  Fresh bread is served with dishes of hot fresh honey as well as Ethiopian eggs with vegetables and strong hot coffee.  There was a hum of excitement for the adventures that were ahead of us in this new place.
All three of the girls were excited for our adventures in Gonder.  Addie and Bella jumped out of the bed at 5AM bubbling with excitement for our flight.  Traveling with our adventurous little girls makes the exploration that much more fun.  And this is only where the weekend started!


Heather P. said...

Beautiful pictures! Glad you all had a fun get away ;)

Emily said...

What a great weekend adventure! The bread looks yummy, and the hotel, and all of the surroundings look amazing!

Wade said...

My wife and I visited Hawassa in June. I am regretting that I didn't spend another week in Ethiopia visiting Gonder. Perhaps I will on my third trip back. Your pictures and your blog are stellar.