Ethiopia is truly a land of contrasts and extremes; a land of remote and wild places. Some of the highest and most stunning places on the African continent are found here, such as the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains, one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites – and some of the lowest, such as the hot but fascinating Danakil Depression, with its sulphur fumaroles and lunar-like landscape. Ethiopia is old beyond all imaginations. As Abyssinia, its culture and traditions date back over 3,000 years. And far earlier than that lived “Lucy” or Dinkenesh, meaning ‘thou art wonderful’, as she is known to the Ethiopians, whose remains were found in a corner of this country of mystery and contrasts.
Many people visit Ethiopia – or hope to do so one day – because of the remarkable manner in which ancient historical traditions have been preserved. And, indeed, the ceremonies and rituals of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church open a window on the authentic world of the Old Testament. In no other country is it possible to find yourself so dramatically transported back in time or to participate with such freedom in the sacred rituals of an archaic faith.
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