Previously KNOT JUST PICS. Same shit, different name.

Ethiopia – Axum

Leaving behind the amazing Gelada baboons we set off for the ancient and mysterious town of Axum which claims to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant .

Our 6 hour scenic drive through the countryside from the Simien mountains to Axum ended up taking us close to 14 hours and included not one, but FIVE flat tyres, road works where entire cliffs were literally collapsed before our eyes and so much dust that by the time we arrived in Axum our hair was as white as a pensioners!

This was the start of the ancient stellae which are estimated to date back nearly three thousand years. Unlike other world heritage sites which are protected and where access is limited, we found people farming and grazing their animals between these ancient monuments.

These rocky piles are believed to be the remnants of the palace of the mythical queen of Sheba. Whether or not she truly existed, the people who ruled this part of the world some 2500 years ago were so powerful that they controlled Yemen, Saudi Arabia and parts of Egypt and Sudan.

Trust Andy to climb up onto a 2500 year old building….

All the houses here are completely made out of rock and as this is a desert region, the familiar sight of donkeys was replaced by the awkward lumbering of camels. It was VERY strange to see camels casually wandering down the streets!

Above are the remnants of the church of St Mary, believed to be the original resting place of the Ark of the Covenant before it was destroyed by a band of marauding Jews under the rule of a warrior queen, Queen Yodit.

And below is the rather unimpressive modern concrete church where the Ark now lives. No one is allowed to approach the church other than the monks who guard it. The Ark is supposed to have supernatural powers that can cause people other than its guardian to spontaneously combust!

The remains of the coronation area where are all the Kings and Emperors of Ethiopia were crowned, except the last emperor, Hailie Selassie as he had the pesky issue following him around of having murdered his predecessor….

Only men are allowed to enter the ‘new’ church of St Mary so while Andy and our guide went exploring in it I had to sit outside and do some people watching and make sure my dangerous ladyness didnt affect the church in anyway.

One of about ten unexplored tombs in this area and while some of them are partially open and excavated, there remain many which have NEVER been explored by Archaeologists!

This particular stellae field is the largest and contains more than 75 stellae of various sizes including three enormous ones that are intricately carved, the largest of which lies broken in pieces. The erection of some of the bigger stellae is attributed to the use of the Ark of the covenant…

Semha was an amazing 10 year old girl we met during our time in Axum. One of the things that impressed us most in Ethiopia was the high level of education the kids receive there, their exceptional general knowledge and how everyone is bi, if not trilingual! Semha took us around a bit and we learnt that despite her mom being  a street vendor, she has great ambitions of becoming a doctor. We exchanged email addresses with her and bought her an Amharic-Tigraian-English dictionary.

Exploring some of the partially uncovered tombs that are dotted around the city.

 

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Andy & Szerdi on Instagram

  • Blue skies when it was meant to pour with rain. These two have luck on their side 🙌🏽
  • Katie and Colin. Officially married 🙌🏽
  • Music is one of the most important things in both our lives. It’s has shaped us and supported us. This means whenever we get a chance, we go and watch bands live, as getting to see the songs that means so much to you played by the people who made them is just next level awesome. Last night we watched Biffy Clyro again, this band is particularly meaningful to us as a couple as our first dance at our wedding was to one of their songs 💜 Here’s both of us wearing Simon Neil masks leant to us by two lovely Glaswegian ladies we met at the show last night.
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Prepping to blog this gem of a wedding! Cannot wait to share their wedding which took place in a medieval village overlooking the French countryside.
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  • This weekend exceeded all expectations! 🙌 Sooo many good bands, the friendliest people, and delicious veggie food. The mud and rain even made it a proper English festival experience 🌧 This was our first @downloadfest and we WILL be back! Thank you @the_szerd for enjoying the same noisy music as me and always being my band buddy 😘
  • This summer in Europe has been epic for bands so far! Another one from our “must-see” band list. Alice in Chains 🔥 Definite highlights were this song, Them Bones, and Nutshell, which Jerry Cantrell dedicated to Layne Stayley. Totes emosch 😥 @aliceinchains
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  • People watching from the shade.
  • Exploring the narrow streets and alleyways of Stone Town, Zanzibar. This place reminds us so much of the old part of Jeddah with the African/Arab cross culture and architecture.
  • It may be “sun’s out, guns out”, but it’s “balls out” at sunset when the heat finally let’s up.
  • Excellent vibe on what’s left of the beach at high tide.
  • Ocean and people watching from a shadey spot. The guy on the right, dressed in tradition Masai garb, is David. We had along chat about tattoos before he sold me a bracelet.
  • Dear god it’s hot. But also quite nice.
  • Hello Zanzibar 🤗 Can’t wait to get in that water!
  • We’re a hazard when we’re walking the streets cus we’re always looking up and bumping into people. Obsessed with the beautiful Dutch architecture!

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