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Three impressions of Iran

2018-01-06T12:37:36+00:00

Skiing in the Alborz Mountains The artificial twinkling of the cut glass of the Shah’s palace, however dazzling, was a mere foretaste for the majesty of the sun-drenched white-capped peaks of the Alborz Mountains. Rising up to the north of the capital Tehran, the high powder glistened with a bright white flashing beauty. I thought of when the man dreams he is flying [...]

In a valley in Kyrgyzstan

2019-11-26T06:29:53+00:00

I was alone. Really alone. I was in a valley camping next to a river and the air was rapidly cooling. I was wearing a thick red woolen jumper and my exposed wrists were brown against it. I had filled up two aluminum water bottles from the torrent next to me but the glacial waters were too aggressive and the water was [...]

9 reasons why Ethiopia should be your next adventure destination

2019-11-26T06:29:13+00:00

A stunning landscape The national parks are a sight to behold. Fertile and dramatic, the soaring mountains and deep, terraced valleys are absolutely world class. Amazing people Hospitable, kind and with a great sense of humor, the people you will meet along the way are truly the ones that will make your trip unforgettable. Huge variety of wildlife Ethiopia has an astounding number [...]

The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and other travels in Ethiopia

2019-11-26T06:31:23+00:00

One thousand years ago, as King Lalibela lay in a poison-induced coma at the hand of his brother, he journeyed to Heaven where the angels commanded that he build a New Jerusalem in Africa’s then bulwark of Christianity. His stonemasons cut directly down into the living rock of mountainsides to achieve this, the church roofs therefore remaining at ground level. Standing in [...]

Trekking off the beaten track in Ethiopia

2019-11-26T06:32:23+00:00

Having got my boots re-glued and stitched by a capable young cobbler in Axum, I headed down to Korem, the nearest town to Lake Hashinge. Korem is situated where the Tigrinyan plateau first rises up from the Amhara plains, and, compared with most of the arid desert plateaux of Tigray, this first strip of highland is a lush breadbasket of green terraced [...]

Travelling in Harar, Ethiopia

2019-11-26T06:33:38+00:00

J’ai rêvé la nuit verte aux neiges éblouies, Baiser montant aux yeux des mers avec lenteurs, La circulation des sèves inouïes, Et l’éveil jaune et bleu des phosphores chanteurs! I have dreamed of the green night of the dazzled snows, The kiss rising slowly to the eyes of the seas, The circulation of undreamed-of saps, And the yellow-blue awakening of singing phosphorus! [...]

Hiking in the Gheralta Mountains, Ethiopia

2019-11-26T06:19:16+00:00

In the middle of the 4th Century AD, Saint Frumentius brought Christianity to the Axumite Kingdom in what is now northern Ethiopia. A Syro-Phenician Greek, he was captured with his brother as a boy, becoming a slave to the King of Axum. Upon obtaining their freedom, the brothers educated the King’s heir in the teachings of Christianity, and Frumentius was later appointed [...]

The Danakil Depression of Ethiopia

2019-11-26T06:35:17+00:00

‘Better to die than to live without killing’. The semi-nomadic Afar, situated in the northeastern deserts of Ethiopia by the Eritrean border, were for centuries feared for their ferocious nature and warlike culture. Legendary British explorer Sir Wilfred Patrick Thesiger, born in Addis Ababa the son of a diplomat, maintained in his memoirs that the most dangerous journeys of his life were [...]

Musings and a little history, Ethiopia

2019-11-26T06:36:11+00:00

[Image of a young Haile Selassie] Musings on the nature of the Ethiopian character I have yet to open a book or read a travel article in the FT on the country that does not include the famous line from18th Century Historian Edward Gibbon’s masterwork The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: “Encompassed on all sides by the [...]

The Bale Mountains of Ethiopia

2019-11-26T06:37:25+00:00

Gurbinder Kundi (Binder), a Corporate Treasurer and long-time friend in Dubai, had been hinting for a while that he would be interested to come out and join me for a leg of the trip, and we had subsequently arranged for him to partake in six days out of my ten-day trek across the Sanetti Plateau. Due to the nature of the terrain [...]