Enchanting Ethiopia ~ Meskel Festival
Day 1. Thursday September 20, 2012: Depart USA for Addis Ababa
Day 2. Friday September 21, 2012 : Arrival to Addis
The group arrives to Addis. Adinas Agera Tour and Travel welcomes the group and transfers to your Hotel for day use only. Afternoon sightseeing tour to museums and points of interest. Transfer to airport for your flight to the town of Bahir Dar, situated on the side of the largest Lake . Upon arrival transfer to Tana Hotel.Overnight Tana Hotel.
Day 3. Saturday September 22, 2012: [ In Bahir Dar ]
Morning visit the Blue Nile waterfalls, almost 50 meters high and known as Tis Issat in Amharic, “smoking water”.
Returning to Bahir Dar, we stop at a local market to shop for baskets, pottery, and other traditional artifacts. woven clothes, etc. In the afternoon we enjoy a boat trip on Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile and largest lake in the country with an area of 3,600 square kilometers. Visit one of the most famous of these monasteries, Ura Kidane Mehret, whose interior walls are covered with fine paintings of religious and historical scenes. Return to hotel in time for dinner.Overnight Tana Hotel.
Day 4. Sunday September 23, 2012: Drive Bahir Dar - Gonder
Drive to Gonder, the 17th century capital of Ethiopia. Here we visit the castles built by several generations of Ethiopian Kings, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Debre Berhan Silassie Church with its beautiful paintings, and the Bath of Fasiledes, at which thousands of Ethiopians celebrate Timket (Epiphany) festival every January. Dinner and overnight in Quarra Hotel.
Day 5. Monday September 24, 2012 : Fly Gonder - Lalibela
Fly to Lalibela. Visit the rock hewn churches, registered by UNESCO as world heritage site. The churches are described by many travel writers as the eighth wonder of the world. They were hewn during King Lalibela in the 12th century which took 24 years to complete the construction. Visit the first group of the rock-hewn churches comprising: Bete Medehanialem, Bete Mariam, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagel, and Bete Michael & Golgota, sharing the same roof. These groups of churches are surrounded by courtyards and trenches, so that they mimic normal buildings. Several of these churches are monolithices or three-quarter – free from the surrounding rock on three or four sides a style of excavation that is unique in Ethiopia. You will also visit the second group of churches consisting of five churches: Bete Emanuel, Bete Merkorios, Bete Abba Libanos, and Bet Gebriel- Rufael as well as the eleventh church and the carefully carved cross shaped Bete Giorgis. Overnight Bete Abraham/Mountain View Hotel.
Day 6. Tuesday September 25, 2012 Fly Lalibela – Axum
Visit the archaeological museum that houses numerous archaeological findings; the stelae park – the huge and fallen, the still standing and the returned one from Rome that was taken in 1937 by the Italians; the church of St. Marry of Zion – the old built by Emperor Fasiledes in 17th century. The new Cathedral built by Emperor Haile Silassie graces the compound.
Afternoon visit the bath of Queen of Sheba; Tombs of Kings Kaleb and his son Gebre Meskel; Ezana Park – showing the stone inscriptions of King Ezana written in different languages. Finally visit Queen Sheba’s Palace ruins. Overnight Yeha Hotel.
Day 7. Wednesday September 26, 2012: Fly Axum – Addis Ababa
Upon arrival to Addis, transfer to Intercontinental Hotel.
Later in the afternoon you will attend the celebration of Meskel on the eve where priests and Sunday school students sing and dance in front of tens of thousands of attendees bonfire erected for the celebration. All participants sing and ululate on the occasion of lighting the bonfire.
In the evening, Adinas invites you for dinner at one of the known traditional restaurants where you can see cultural music and dancing from different ethnic groups. Overnight Intercontinental Hotel.
Day 8. Thursday September 27, 2012: In and around Addis Ababa
In the morning, you will have an excursion to Debre Zeit, a town situated 45 kms east of Addis. The town is famous for the crater lakes and with the development of tourism in the rise, different resorts and places of accommodation are established around these lakes.
You will have lunch at Kuriftu Resort. You will drive back to Addis and the rest of the time will be free for shopping. You can also stay around the hotel as day use arrangement is available. Short meeting of the group to discuss on future collaboration. In the evening, Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Day 9. Friday September 28, 2012: Arrive back in USA