Monday 22nd of June 2015 11:22:36 AM  |  Uthiopia

Rewilding: 1. the act of letting human shaped landscapes return to a natural state with minimum human intervention.2. Reintroducing indigenous animal and vegetal species into ecosystems where they were found before human impact. The Road to Entoto (Juniper forest and stream less than 1 km from Addis Ababa) Gefersa Lake (Buffalo Lake, in Oromiffa), a water reservoir fifteen kms to the east of Addis Ababa, is a good place to start a walk across the Entoto Hills above Addis Ababa. You can foll…


Kaizen – ካይዘን

Thursday 9th of April 2015 08:40:36 AM  |  Uthiopia

  KAIZEN       Kaizen will most immediately bring to mind the Zen philosophy of the Zen School of Buddhism in Japan. Zen Buddhism has won a lot of converts in the west in the last few decades, with its seeming lack of dogma – just sit! – and quirky aphorisms, the koan (“What is the noise of one hand clapping?”). More often than not it is boiled down to a vague aesthetic – tea in clay pots, sand drawings – and an unflappable inner sense of calm – as in the nonsensical French i…


Camembert d’Ethiopie

Tuesday 31st of March 2015 08:33:37 AM  |  Uthiopia

        Camembert d’Ethiopie   A ‘Camembert d’Ethiopie’ from a homage to Jean-Michel Cornu de Lenclos, part of the presentation I gave last week at the Alliance Française of Addis Ababa on French writers in Ethiopia. The Camembert d’Ethiopie was a hare brained scheme of Jean-Michel – that I must admit I rather liked too. You can read more about J. M Cornu de Lenclos here.    …


L’ Ethiopie est un roman… that is better read in French!?

Tuesday 24th of March 2015 07:43:27 AM  |  Uthiopia

  L’Archange Minotaure Avec un hommage à Jean-Michel Cornu de Lenclos – Ecrivain, artiste et editeur – vous pouvez lire ici l’ article qui lui est consacré sur Uthiopia. (L’intervention de Yves-Marie Stranger se fera en français, mais les questions réponses pourront être en anglais également)   Les voyageurs français qui ont écrit sur l’Ethiopie sont nombreux – de Jacques Charles Poncet (immortalisé par Jean-Christophe Ruffin dans son roman L’Abyssin) aux intrépide…


ሆሞ ቱሪስቲካ

Monday 9th of March 2015 09:02:49 AM  |  Uthiopia

Last week I went to Debre Libanos, where “Near the turn off to the monastery is the so called 16th century Portuguese bridge…” (Lonely Planet guide to Ethiopia). On a walking tour in southern France I was amazed at the instructions I found everywhere. Every step had been thought out by somebody for me. Signs told me where to look, where to find a beautiful point of view or if somebody famous had been there before me. There seemed to not be a single place left in those magnificent mountains…


Pêro da Covilhã, gentleman traveller and tourist

Wednesday 25th of February 2015 07:29:02 AM  |  Uthiopia

  Covilha’s Travels (in black Vasco da Gama’route to the Indies) – from Wikipedia     [500 years ago the first Ethiopian embassy reached Portugal – and five years later (in 1521) the first Portuguese embassy made it to Ethiopia. These diplomatic voyages – and the search for Prester John ‘of the Indies – were to set in motion a train of events that would lead to the first circumnavigation of the globe – in that sense, the Portuguese are the first ‘tour-ists.’]   When Fra…


The Old Ways of Ethiopia

Thursday 19th of February 2015 01:29:18 PM  |  Uthiopia

  The Old Ways of Ethiopia   Robert Macfarlane’s The Old Ways takes us on a pleasant stroll down the geographical memory lanes of the British Isles. While in recent years, cheap flights, ease of access and rising global interconnectivity – think smart phones and 24/7 news – has shut down many of the traditional avenues of ‘travel writing’ – and many have said that the form is now obsolete. Others, such as Macfarlane, have not pronounced on the subject, but have quietly opened new…


A Seven Kilometer Long Sea of Cobbles

Monday 2nd of February 2015 03:11:16 AM  |  Uthiopia

A Seven Kilometer Sea of Cobbles   Drive up the Gojjam, Northern, or Bahir Dar Road, from Piazza, past the Semien Hotel and into the Entoto Hills and you soon reach the customs/security checkpoint found on the col known as Kela, that forms the watershed between the Awash and Blue Nile Rivers. This viewpoint offers superb views down on Addis Ababa in the early morning, or at night – during the day the combination of heat haze and exhaust fumes form a sluggish miasma above the city and prevent…


Itegue Taitu Hotel እቴጌ ጣይቱ ሆቴል

Thursday 22nd of January 2015 08:28:59 AM  |  Uthiopia

  Taitu main building staircase (picture by Rahel Berhane)   The እቴጌ ጣይቱ ሆቴል, or Itegue Taitu Hotel – often affectionately simply referred to as ‘the’ Taitu – and also, during the military Derg regime, as the አውራሪስ / Awaris (Rhinoceros), in an attempt to uproot its royal connections , has known many vicissitudes during its 100 years’ of existence – but has always risen from the ashes. The fire which heavily destroyed parts of the Taitu last month is se…


Barara is Entoto is Barara?

Wednesday 31st of December 2014 10:34:08 AM  |  Uthiopia

    Corner Tower When Menelik chose Entoto as his residence he did so because his 19th century forebear, King Sahle Selassie of Showa, had once lain in the shade of a sycamore tree on the ridge above what is today Addis Ababa and declared that ‘one day, the fruit of my loins will here settle their capital for it was so before.’ Kings like nothing more to declare sententiously about all matters of things – it is after all often the only fun aspect of the job. The most mundane pronouncem…