Andrew and I spent a couple days in Lalibela soaking up the atmosphere of the upcoming Christmas celebrations, taking our time to explore the churches and mingle with the pilgrims. We were in constant awe at the devotion of those around us, with worshippers packing the churches and filling the spaces with their songs and prayers.
It is a sight and experience we will never forget. In fact, I think that was the one of the things that really made these churches - seeing them in use rather then being static museum-like sites. They were still functioning as they had been for hundreds and hundreds of years prior, and it felt like we had been transported back in time, with nothing at all (except maybe for a few mobile phones) signifying that we were in the year 2015.
We also took the opportunity to head out of town and visit Yemrehanna Kristos. About an hours drive from the centre of town, this small but gorgeous church was built in a cave, out of timber in the same style of the rock-hewn churches in found in Lalibela and has been sheltered from the elements. It was definitely worth the trip out, not only for the church itself, but the beautiful countryside in which we were surrounded by.
We couldn't get over what were seeing and experiencing, and it really was such a nice way to spend our last few days in Ethiopia.
next: Christmas, Ethiopian style.