|The Egg Building in the Fasil Ghebbi compound Gondar|
We are on a Christian pilgrimage to
|the fireplace separating male and female rooms and note|
the holes for horns to hang meat
|one of the lions' cages|
The Emperor was tired of the pattern of migration that had characterised the lifestyle of so many of his forefathers, so he moved his capital here in 1636 AD. It is a photographer and tourist paradise, with great historical significance, as well as a place where locals also like to come to stroll and relax in a green haven of peace away from the city bustle and noise just the other side of its high stone walls.
The locals call the first castle we come to the
, because of the domed
tops of its watchtowers. Inside the main hall is split into two, segregating
the men and the women, sharing only a fireplace built into the wall between the
two rooms. We are shown holes in the wall where meat was hung on horns because
metal hooks would spoil the flavour. These horns are also seen in the Turkish
Baths on the site, in this case used to hang clothes. Egg
|horn hooks for clothes in the Turkish Baths|
A beehive high up in a tree is wrapped in savannah grass to protect it from the rain. Honey is introduced to attract bees and there can be as many as four harvests in one year if conditions are favourable.
|the Mentewab Castle|
The sixth and last castle we visit was the only one commissioned by a female, Empress Mentewab, acting as regent for her young son, Iyasu II. It is the most impressive and well preserved of them all, decorated on the outside with Gondarine crosses. We can only view from outside the gates - we are not allowed near.
|the channel to fill the King's Baths|
|the King's Baths|
But we somehow find the energy at the Four Sisters restaurant to join in the dancing around the tables with the curious shoulder, neck and arm movements - even somehow employing bosoms and hips - which seem quite unique to
The sun sets over Mayleko Lodge. Tomorrow is Sunday and we will return to the church we saw today to experience a service Ethiopian Orthodox style…