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Addis Ababa (The New Flower)

  2. Addis Ababa (the name means 'new flower') is of fairly recent origin - Menelik II founded the city in 1887 but is an important administrative centre not only for Ethiopia but also for the whole of Africa. Situated in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains and standing 2,400 metres above sea level it is the third highest capital in the world. The city has a population of about four million. Addis Abeba is a noisy and chaotic town because of its traffic but Addis Abeba is a city with hubris, faith, hope, chaos and vibrancy… having one of the fastest rates of urban growth in the world…
  3. Ethiopian coffee is probably the best in the world and the story of the discovery of coffee by the Ethiopian shepherd Kaldi and his hyperactive goats should not be left untold… More than 1,000 years ago, a goat herd in Ethiopia's south-western highlands plucked a few red berries from some young green trees growing there in the forest and tasted them. He liked the flavour and the feel-good effect that followed. Today those self- same berries, dried, roasted and ground, have become the world's second most popular non-alcoholic beverage after tea..
  4. The coffee ceremony is the ritualized form of making and drinking coffee. The coffee ceremony is one of the most recognizable parts of Arab, Eritrean and Ethiopian culture. Visitors are always impressed by the ‘tukke’ or ‘bunna’, a coffee ritual. It takes place three times a day, marking the time for a get-together and small-talk. In this respect it is no different from the coffee culture of rural (and urban!) areas in other parts of the world
  5. A distinct feature of the ritual, however, is the fact that the coffee beans are first roasted in a frying pan over an open fire, to be ground in a mortar afterwards. The quality of such fresh, usually blackened coffee must not be overestimated. But being immersed in the fragrance of fresh coffee, poured out high from a beautiful ‘jebena’ coffeepot, will dull the sharp journalistic eye of any ‘Tintin in Africa’.
  6. Ethiopia is considered to be the ‘cradle of coffee’. From here pilgrims and coffee traders started the spread of coffee over the world. Our word ‘coffee’ might well originate from the coffee region ‘Kaffa’.
  7. Coffee is offered when visiting friends, during festivities, or as a daily staple of life. If coffee is politely declined then most likely tea (shai) will be served. Ethiopians will say the only good thing the Italians brought to the country was the coffee machinery and the resulting macchiato. Order yours at the front of Tomoca Coffee shop and then pick it up at the back, in front of two whirring espresso machines.
  8. Tomoca Coffee shop.
  9. Meskal Square
  10. Meskal is the Ge’ez word for “cross,” and Meskal square is the site for one of the larger celebrations in the city every year. Meskal Day commemorates the discovery of the ‘true cross’ by St. Helena. It takes place on the 27th of September and also marks the end of the rainy season. During the celebration, mobs of people flock to Meskal Square where they light an immense bonfire or Demera, (the smoke the first fire led Helena to the true cross some 1600 years ago), and people mark themselves with a cross on their forehead with the ashes of the blaze once it has burned out.
  11. According to tradition, Empress Helena lit incense and prayed for assistance to guide her. The smoke drifted towards the direction of the buried cross. She dug and found three crosses; one of them was the True Cross used to crucify Jesus Christ. Empress Helena then gave a piece of the True Cross to all churches, including the Ethiopian Church. This piece was then brought to Ethiopia. According to the Ethiopian legend, when people get close to the piece of the True Cross it made them naked by its powerful light. Because of this, a decision was made to bury it at the mountain of Gishen Mariam monastery in Wollo region. The monastery of Gishen Mariam holds a volume of a book which records the story of the True Cross of Christ and how it was acquired.
  12. On the day of the festival, as it is coincides with the mass blooming of the bright yellow Maskal daisies, called Adey Ababa (Bidens macroptera), are tied to fronds, and piled high in town squares. Colourful processions carrying burning torches converge on to the square, where a pyre is lit and the celebrations continue until dawn, symbolically heralding the advent of a new year after the rainy season is over
  13. Meskal Square
  14. Meskal Square, the entrance to Exhibition Center
  15. Now another reason one may have heard of Meskal Square is for its running. Apparently a large number of folks use the square as a training center before 6am, including such phenomenal runners such as Haile Gebrselassie who is like a local deity in Ethiopia.
  16. Meskal Square Entrance to Exhibition Center from Meskal Square Ethiopians don't know the name of Hagi or Nadia Comaneci but Romania means Gabriela Szabo (pronounced Zabo)
  17. Ethiopian music
  18. Villa Alpha is the home and personal museum designed and constructed by Afewerk Tekle between 1959 and 1973 Afewerk Tekle (1932 –2012) was a very well known Ethiopian Painter and this stamps bear his stamp!
  19. Jacaranda tree is very popular all over Africa
  20. Shopping time
  21. Quickly drive through the Mercato (the largest open market on the continent),
  22. Ethiopia's capital and Africa's diplomatic capital has been ranked as the World's 6th dirtiest city by Forbes magazine. The magazine said the city faces one of the worst sanitation problems in Africa and the world. Forbes also added that the lack of adequate sanitation programs results in infant mortality and low life expectancy. Addis Ababa Chaotic Merkato
  23. Chaotic, crowded, and stifling but one of the largest markets in Africa and a must-see if you are in Addis. Expect interesting but not necessarily enjoyable or attractive.
  24. Dessalech Kittfo & Cultural Music Hall
  25. Addis Ababa Domestic Airport
  26. Text: Internet Pictures: Sanda Foişoreanu Sanda Negruţiu Jean Moldovan Alin Samochis Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foi oreanuş Sound: Alemayehu Eshete - Ende Amora

Notes de l'éditeur

  1. Addis Ababa Domestic Airport