The remainder of team 1 (5 of us) left today for a northern Ethiopia tour. Today we flew to Lalibela where we toured 11 rock hewn churches throughout the day. They are amazing as they are carved out of solid stone. These various churches were apparently completed after 23 years. Very impressive. Lalibela is perched on the edge of what is called the Ethiopian Grand Canyon. Our hotel is on the edge and has an amazing view. Below are some pictures of what we are seeing.
We flew to Axum today. This is a much more modern city-possibly more so than even Addis. We toured the Stelae of Axum. Built in the 2nd and 3rd century as gravestones out of solid stone quarried 5-6 km away. The tallest was 33m but fell over long ago. The one we are pictured in is 28m and was stolen by Italy in 1937 and flown back in 2005. For lunch we stopped at a local restaurant and had a great meal. We ordered a bottle of home-brewed tej, honey wine. It was very good and smelled and tasted like honey. Apparently it is unique to Ethiopia.