Wednesday, 12 October 2016

We Enjoyed the Anticipation!!!


Less than 24 hours before we were due to set off on our long journey to the country originally known by another name, Abyssinia - the telephone rang to say our trip to Ethiopia was cancelled due to unrest and disturbances in several of the places that we planned to visit.
So the malaria pills remain untouched in their packets, the Yellow Fever vaccination will be valid for the rest of my life should a further opportunity arise, and the US dollars I purchased have at least gone up in value!!! One must be philosophical about such things, and ultimately our safety is what is most important.
http://www.flickriver.com/photos/a-weidinger/3888900061
The beautiful people of the Omo Valley must remain hidden from my camera
as must the 11 medieval churches hewn out of solid rock on the high mountain tops at Lalibela
The town of Lalibela is close to the city of Axum, the oldest continuously inhabited place in Africa. Lucy the oldest pre-human hominid was found in Ethiopia.  She is estimated to be over 3 million years old.
In Axum the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion, which we planned to visit, houses the biblical Ark of the Covenant. God commanded Moses to put three items into the Ark: a golden pot of manna, Aaron's staff that had budded, and the two stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were written. 
Lorenzo Gilberti, Renaissance sculptor, shows the meeting of the Queen of Sheba with King Solomon on the bronze doors at the Battistero di San Giovanni, Florence. A moment considered to represent the meeting of the eastern and western churches. 
It was from Axum that the Queen of Sheba travelled to meet with King Solomon in Jerusalem. She and King Solomon are said to have had a son, Menelik, who rescued the Ark of the Covenant from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem. The temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar ll following a seige in 587 BC. Menelik took the rescued Ark back to his mother's homeland in Abyssinia.
I apologise to all those who answered my quiz on the previous post - I had hoped to find a small gift whilst travelling in Ethiopia. However, I still intend to honour that commitment with something else.
I was impressed that seven of my 'followers' plus Rod Lutes gave the correct country - they were:-
 Amy
Biebkriebels
Jenny Woolf
Susan
Cloudia
Wendy 
&
Mariette
The seven names were all put into a hat 
H drew out the winner


56 comments:

  1. How disappointing, but better to err on the side of caution.

    I didn't enter the competition, just as well as I wouldn't have picked Ethiopia.

    Ms Soup

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    1. We booked this trip 18 months ago - all was calm then

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  2. Oh, how disappointing for you Rosemary - it would have been an exceptional trip, and of course, now I know the answer it all make perfect sense! Do they really have the Ark of the Covenant, still held there, and can people go and see it? Truly amazing. Congratulations to all the clever clogs who worked it out.

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    1. Dear Patricia - I was impressed with how many people guessed correctly too - clever clogs indeed.
      Yes, the Ark of the Covenant is supposed to be there, but kept away from all prying eyes apart from one Monk who spends his whole life guarding it. On his death bed he appoints another monk to continue undertaking the duty.

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  3. So sorry about your trip. It is confusing where it is safe to travel these days. So happy about your winner. I read her blog and have met her in person. janey

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    1. We are now feeling at a loose end having cleared our diaries and got upto date with all of our commitments. Perhaps we will take a few days away somewhere here.

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  4. Oh what a shame ! How disappointing for you . You have a lovely attitude though, I fear I would sulk for months :) Unless I went to Paris to make it up to me ~

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    1. Well you are spot on there, we shall be hopping over to Paris next month.

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  5. It's always disappointing when a trip has to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond your control. The same thing happened to us when Japan had its earthquake and tsunami two weeks before our scheduled trip. I hope you get to Ethiopia in due course!

    Isn't the Ark of the Covenant filed away in some big anonymous government warehouse somewhere? If Indiana Jones can't find it, it can't be found!

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    1. Indiana Jones should have headed to the high mountain tops of northern Ethiopia - it is a very remote area at a very high altitude and not readily accessible by road - we would have been travelling there by plane.

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  6. How disappointing for you and it looks like an amazing place. But better safe than sorry. I've wanted to visit Israel and Jordan forever, but because of all the trouble in the middle east we haven't been.

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    1. Ethiopia was peaceful and calm when we booked this trip over 18 months ago, who know what the future holds. It was obviously not meant to be this time around.

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  7. So disappointing. Have you refilled your calendar for those dates or are you taking advantage of a commitment free period? The alternative name for Ethiopia gave my brain a good workout.

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    1. You are so right Susan - we are feeling at a loose end, so took ourselves out for lunch today, in any case the fridge is bare. We may try and have a few days away somewhere here.
      Well done for working out that it was Ethiopia, I was very impressed that so many of you managed to figure it out.

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  8. Hello Rosemary, What a fascinating trip you have missed--and your readers have missed by extension. Now the words of Coleridge are running through my mind, "It was an Abyssinian Maid..."
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - I have always loved Coleridge's Kubla Khan ever since learning it at school - it conjures up lots of wonderful images for me in the minds eye.

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  9. Oh that is such a shame. It would have been a fascinating experience, but safety must come first.

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    1. Dear Wendy I thought you answered incredibly well even down to know that the bronze showed the Queen of Sheba meeting with King Solomon - it was not to be, and as you say safety must come first.

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  10. This would have been a fabulous trip but at least you had the anticipation. I always feel it is almost half, or at least 10% of the joy of travelling. Maybe one day... Meanwhile, Paris - although from another world - sounds like quite a decent consolation.

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    1. You are right Teresa Maria - we feel as if we know so much more about that corner of the world now having read all about the different places that we had hoped to visit.

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  11. Love your photography, it makes me feel like I'm there - I'm in Australia. I work with people with severe disabilities and several of my co-workers are from Ethiopia. Beautiful, gentle people both inside and out! They have been through hell and still laugh and get the best out of every day.

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    1. Hello Lynne and thank you for visiting. The people of Ethiopia do look very different from other areas of Africa, tall, slim, very elegant, beautiful looking people - I appreciate your kind comment.

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  12. What a trip that would have been! You do choose some exciting places to visit. So much of the world seems to be 'off limits' these days, such a shame.

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    1. It was a trip that we had booked 18 months ago and all was peaceful in Ethiopia at that time.

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  13. Bad luck with unrest around the world now in many places kicking off at short notice but better to be safe and secure with your energy intact. Watched a few recent documentaries about Ethiopia and that church carved into solid rock. Fascinating history.

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    1. We watched the 'fly on the mud hut wall' programme about life in the Omo Valley which was fascinating.

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  14. So sorry you didn't get to go, perhaps you will be able to go another time. It would have been a fascinating visit I am sure. Thank you for the quiz too, it was fun. Congrats to the winner! xx

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    1. I was very surprised that so many of you got the correct country Amy - your answer came in within minutes of me posting.

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  15. Rosemary, I didn't mentioned my e-mail, as you can find it on my blog.

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    1. Thanks Marianne - I may get a little parcel away to you either tomorrow or at the weekend. Hope you enjoy.

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  16. What a wonderful place to visit...maybe it is only postponed for a while .

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    1. We shall have to wait and see - it is not terrorism but unrest between different ethnic groups

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  17. It's disappointing, but I've learned a lot about Ethiopia just reading this post. Those medieval, stone-hewn churches are amazing!

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    1. Oh! that is good Lorrie - Ethiopia has a lot to offer the visitor, so it is a shame, but not to be this time round.

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  18. Dear Rosemary, of course it is sad to cancel that travel - on the other hand: better safe than sorry. And as you say: anticipation is worth a lot! (I just listened to Alain de Botton at the Literary Festival in Berlin - he spoke a beautiful, beautiful English, bathed in that, even if I don't swim in his books - but he has written one quite interesting book: "The Art of Travel" (bought it secondhand). worth a languid look on a rainy day :-)

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    1. Dear Britta - perhaps I should watch out for that book - thank you.

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  19. Dear Rosemary, What a shame and how disappointing for you. I was so excited to learn where your next adventure was going to be. Also disappointing for us, your loyal readers, who were looking forward to your always fabulous photos.

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    1. Dear Gina - it was not to be, but I am a great believer in things happening for a reason. It has been strange carrying on here when we should have been so far away, but I enjoyed a lecture yesterday that we would have missed on contemporary silversmithing.
      Trying to fix a few days away in the meantime.

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  20. Hello Rosemary,
    Sorry to hear your trip was cancelled. I know you were very much looking forward and your research, as usual, is to be commended.

    I love the images and have learned from this post. Wishing you a glorious weekend.

    Helen xx

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    1. Hello Helen - I have known about the rock churches of Lalibela and also that Ethiopia was supposed to have the Ark of Covenant for a long time, so when we saw this trip we couldn't wait to sign up for it. I am sure that it is a fascinating country to visit, but on this occasion it was not to be.

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  21. Dearest Rosemary,
    Well, that is a kind of a mineur mood, for a brief moment... But as you wisely already stated, safety first!
    We both have missed a much longed for trip to Poland and Russia, from The Netherlands on such a double bus. Not in height but one behind with a connector piece in-between. We did go to Prague, Hungary and Vienna instead and that was a great trip as well.
    But it is more the planning ahead, like you yourself did and mentally you live towards some cultural experience since you read so much about it all your life...
    Yes, it would have made for a spectacular journey with so many unusual and historical highlights.
    Biebkriebels got lucky and it proves that we all are history lovers and avid readers of such.
    Sending you hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - you along with the others did so very well in guessing my clues, I was actually very surprised that so many people got the correct answer.
      I believe there is often a good reason why things don't necessarily happen, and fortunately we do have other future plans afoot.
      Thank you for your always interesting responses.

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  22. I didn't guess.
    You have beet amazing tour in a exotic country. And your photos are lovely.

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    1. Sadly not Orvokki - it was cancelled just hours before we were due to leave

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  23. What a shame that your trip was cancelled at such short notice. As you say it is better to listen to the advice and not take the risk. Sarah x

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    1. We were all packed and raring to go Sarah - several of the places that we intended to visit became out of bounds in particular Lalibela, and that was one of the main attractions for us.

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  24. What a shame to miss such a trip. It's a pity the organising company couldn't offer something equally exciting.

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    1. We had already accepted three different changes a few days earlier, but when they said Lalibela and Axum were off limits and they could not tell us what the alternatives would be until arrival that was just too much - I main reason for booking the holiday was to see Lalibela which is high up in a remote mountainous region of northern Ethiopia.

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  25. Just want to say I accidentally deleted the comment you put on my latest post about Budapest! And yes I did get some paprika....think he saw me coming though, it was very expensive! Xxx

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  26. Wonderful!
    Very beautiful pictures
    A hug

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  27. Hello, Rosemary. Sorry to hear about the trip cancellation with such a short notice when you are greatly in the mood for Ethiopia. At the former post, I had almost no idea about the country but Russia because of “totally unique religious buildings” . The medieval church hewn out of solid rock is so unique and simply beautiful. As a nonnative speaker of English, my ears often mistake “travel” for “trouble” and vice versa. Travels, especially overseas, are attended with somewhat of troubles. Safety is the most important. Hope the day will come sooner for you when anticipation changes into experiences.

    Yoko

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    1. Hello Yoko - I am a believer that things do not happen without a reason - this trip was obviously not meant to be. Thank you - as you say safety is most important.

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  28. Oh, poor you - we are due to set off for the Middle East on Saturday..... I still half expect the phone call....

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    1. I am sure that you will be alright - our cancellation was nothing to do with terrorism but more to do with inter-tribal unrest and disturbances. Enjoy your trip

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