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- 16.01.07 / 4pm
Excerpts From Ethiopia
Imagine a people untouched by time.
Imagine rocky canyons, sharp escarpments, towering mountains stretching into infinity. Imagine a lake so big that you can sail across it for days.
Imagine glowing, brilliantly coloured medieval frescoes on ancient church walls, depicting saints, sinners, sloe-eyed angels, complacent Madonnas, pious prelates and screaming peasants being dragged off to hell by black demons.
Imagine a rest house, once the former haunt of decadent fascist Italian generals, with elegant wrought iron garden chairs and flowering plants in shaggy profusion, which later became a communist HQ complete with a 70s brown velveteen lounge suite and plastic flowers, where the waitress is called Revolution.
Imagine churches, one as big as an Egyptian temple, buried deep beneath the earth’s surface, hewn out of a single rock.
Imagine a country where time has stood still since its mighty Queen gave birth to King Solomon’s son, and founded a royal dynasty.
Imagine deep valleys, black folded rocks like frozen glaciers dipping to the valley floor. Imagine a tiny hominid, called Lucy, our common ancestor, who roamed this place 3.3 million years ago. (Read the rest of my article on Ethiopia in the January/February issue of Travel magazine.)