Yesterday I wrote a some general information you would need to be aware of before visiting Ethiopia.
Then I shared some awesome free activities in Addis Ababa.
Today we will be in the small town of Gondar, north-west of Ethiopia. A 12 hour bus ride from Addis Ababa, yes you will not feel your behind by the time you arrive from all the sitting in the bus.
Gondar is a small town rich with Ethiopian history. To truly experience Gondar, you have to visit a few places…
About 300 metres from the Gondar Piazza is the Castle, you can see it from the Piazza but the entrance gates are on the other side so you will walk. Or be nice to some guys riding their horses and hitch a ride.
To enter the castle will cost you 200 Birr as a tourist, there a much cheaper fee for the Ethiopian nationals. You will need a tour guide if you have real interest in finding out more about the history. I was very interested but I did not have enough money for a guide in my budget.
Unfortunately I have found that, the Ethiopian picturesque ruins are not very well taken care of, there is lack of maintenance in the castle but they are very well protected. Well some of them anyways.
You also won’t find much written about the castles upon entry except the King or prince’s name and his date that he lived in said castle – so that is when the guide would come in handy.
Fasilides Royal Pools
Also known as Fasilides' Bath.
Just outside the town centre there is the royal pools. The pools are drained out except in January when they are filled for the annual ceremony where it is blessed and then opened for bathing to the public. You have free entry into the pools if you have paid entrance to the castle. You just need to produce the receipt you received at the castle.
Debre Birhan Selassie Church
The church is also a walking distance from the Piazza and entrance will cost you 100Birr.
This beautiful church was build by emperor Eyasu II.
Debre Birhan means “Mountain of light”. This church is among the most important churches in Ethiopia.
The Deshen Beer Garden
Here you can do a tour of the facilities at a price. Not so sure of the price as we went there late in the evening. You can also have lunch and drink the beers on tap at the garden. The beers are dead cheap but the food leave a lot to be desired.
The market is not so big and it is also a walking distance from the Piazza. It is about 15minute walk. You will fruit and vegetables, spices, coffees, teas, clothing and also watch the blacksmiths hard at work.
There are a lot of things to do in Gondar, a week would just fly by. These are just some of the things I did and really enjoyed.