<< Tigray - First Afternoon

11/08/19 - Tigray - The Road From Mekele

We took an early flight from Addis Ababa north to Mekele. Airline security in Ethiopia is a bit different from that in the US. One must show a ticket or passport to enter the airport terminal and then there is primary security even before getting to the checkin area. Then, there is another round of security before one gets to the gate. It was definitely worth getting up bright and early to catch our flight.

There was a long drive from the airport to Gheralta. It was farm country and relatively dry. Various cactus like plants were cultivated as natural fences. The harvest was in. There were great stacks of grain and grain laid out for threshing. We pulled off the main road down towards what looked like nowhere. We approached a hill and were soon exploring a church, Wukro Chrikos, carved from the rock in a hillside.

The church grounds were green and peaceful. Inside the church there was a quiet sense of age. The carved walls were painted. There were signs of the fire damage from when the church was burned by Judith the Falasha and her armies. We could only peek past the curtains into the holy of holies, the most sacred part of the church. Ethiopian Christianity is one of the oldest branches of the religion and shares much with the Coptic church and, as we later learned, Jewish tradition.

We also stopped at the mosque in Negash. It was a place of refuge early in the history of Islam. The prophet sent twelve men and five women, one his daughter, to seek refuge in Ethiopia during the hegira. The mosque has endured, and has recently been remodeled with funds from the Turkish government.

Our drive was not yet over. We had a way to go, but we were already getting a sense of Tigray and of Ethiopia.

Tigray - Like most of Ethiopia, there was excellent cell phone coverage.

Harvest fields

Grain ready for threshing

Wukro Churkos as we approached

Old walls inside

The church was carved from the hillside.

The holy of holies

Another interior view

Looking out

The church yard

Another view of the church yard

Close up of one of the trees

The Negash Mosque, a place of refuge

The grounds of the mosque

A sign of life

Another view of the mosque

More of the grounds

Our drive continued.

More signs of harvest

Keywords: ethiopia