On my second to last trip, I decided to take a 3-day trip to Lalibela with my housemates Ally and Damola. We have heard for way too many people that if were to stay in Addis for two months, it was crucial to see the sights in Lalibela. I know that I would have regretted not going before leaving Addis.
Sarah (our housemate who had to leave a month early) visited Lalibela on her last weekend and said it was the highlight of her trip. She also stayed in the beautiful hotel with apparently the best tour guide. We decided to take her recommendation and go to the same hotel and meet with Haptamou (the best tour guide in Lalibela).
The view was amazing. There are so many hills in Lalibela. It is a very respected area with 11 churches all created by King Lalibela. I was raised a Catholic, though not really practicing the religion as much now, I still felt very moved by the holy place we were adventuring. On our first day, we visited the local church near the hotel. All made by enormous rocks and carved with minimalistic tool(s). Apparently, it is said the King Lalibela single-handedly created all the churches by himself, however rumor has it that 5,000 people helped him construct these masterpieces but only 1 pair of tools were found. My mother, who heavily practices Catholicism, was very pleased to hear about my trip to Lalibela. Before departing to my long trip to Ethiopia, my mom gave me a small pouch that held a wooden and metal cross that belonged to my great grandmother to protect me at all times. When I told her about my trip she asked me to have that crossed blessed by a priest in the area. It was a very touching moment in my life!
As for the churches, they were masterpieces in the ground. I have never heard of these churches made of giant rocks before, in the time of Jesus Christ. Each church that I visited ( I did not visit all 11 churches) was very symbolic; all containing 4 important things in order to be a church: 3 stages, 3 gates, Bethlehem, and the arch of the covenant. Though I have never read the Bible completely, I have never heard of King Lalibela in Ethiopia and its relevance to Christianity. It makes me wonder about what is being written in bibles worldwide, whether people have chosen to scratch out the events that have taken place in Lalibela.
I would advise anyone who travels to Ethiopia takes the time to visit Lalibela because it has a side to Ethiopia that can’t be found just anywhere. It truly holds the importance of Christianity in the country and all over the world. And it is just a breathtaking sight!!