Wednesday, February 25, 2015

harar, ethiopia - part 3:

Ah, Harar. I have to admit while editing and preparing these posts, I have let out a bit of sigh each time. I miss it so much. While Harar is a small town, and one you can easily see in a day or two, it is a place you will want to spend much longer in.
And while it isn't perfect, with the effects of the local chat trade being clearly evident (chat is native plant to the Horn of Africa. When the leaves are chewed, it acts like an amphetamine stimulant), its positives far outweigh any negatives you may experience. It is definitely a must-do on any visit to Ethiopia!

We spent our last day in Harar walking, buying Somali textiles and soaking up as much of Harari life as possible, trying to savour all the colours, smells and friendly faces we had met. I cannot wait to return one day.

next: we head to Gondar in the historical northern circuit.

inside a traditional harari house


outside one of the gates into Harar

Harar from a distance

Monday, February 23, 2015

babile, ethiopia:

Babile is a small town located between Harar and the Somaliland border, and where a weekly camel and livestock market is held. We happened to be in Harar at right time, so with some new friends we had met on the road, we jumped into one of the local mini-vans and made our way to the market. It was a really interesting drive, passing camel caravans and being amongst some really beautiful landscape made up of desert, high plateaus and mountains.

The markets were super busy (and were apparently even busier before we arrived) and such a sight with all of the beautiful camels! Not only that, it overlooked an impressive valley which added to ambiance. We spent a couple of hours a walking around, inspecting the camels and looking on as trades took place. It was interesting to note also that most of the traders here were Somali, largely due to the close distance to the border, which gave us a great opportunity to learn about another cultural group inhabiting Ethiopia.

It was a great little side trip from Harar and one I'd highly recommend if you time it right.

next: one last post from Harar before we head to north.

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