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We had three days in Addis Ababa and we decided to take it easy on the sightseeing. On the first morning, the staff at our accommodation helped us call a taxi to Red Terror Martyrs Memorial Museum, the number 1 attraction in Addis Ababa.
It was a solemn visit and out of respect, we didn’t take any photographs inside. There was no entrance fee but visitors were encouraged to give a donation to fund the museum. The museum reminded me of Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh and Liberation War Museum in Dhaka. It was quite sad to learn about the atrocities which took place not so long ago.
We were quite lost, not knowing where to go. Ended up walking around a bit around Meskel Square before a getting a cab to TO.MO.CA.
Ying swore that TO.MO.CA. had the best coffee.
After her coffee, we decided to go to the next cafe but somehow we didn’t manage to locate it despite asking directions from the locals.
Then the rain came and we decided to abandon our mission. We ended up in Edna Cafe where we had some simple food.
The rain had subsided by the time we were done with the meal and we managed to find a van which brought us back as a taxi. Taxis are surprising expensive for a developing country; a short 5km ride could be around 100-150 ETB (5 to 7 USD). It prompted us to try out public transport the following day.
We were dropped off at Yod Abyssinia which was walking distance from our accommodation.
There was a travel agency on-site and we enquired about hiring a guide and car for the day. Couldn’t recall the exact amount but it was more than we would like to pay.
Since almost every travel literature on Addis Ababa recommended a visit to Yod Abyssinia, Ying and I dropped by for dinner later in the evening. We reached there fairly early and soon the place started to fill up.
The drinks were served pretty fast; I got a beer while Ying decided to try the honey wine.
Injera was an acquired taste. Neither of us had a lot of them.
Most tourists like us didn’t come for the food alone; there were also traditional Ethiopian song and dance performances.
Ying couldn’t finish her honey wine and we would give it to the Americans at the next table.
The meal cost wasn’t cheap at over 500 ETB but I guess it was more for the experience.
The next morning, after yet another good breakfast, we headed for the National Museum.
We managed to figure out the minibuses which were the mainstay of the city’s public transport. The shared minibus to Arat Kilo, where the museum is, was only 4 ETB.
Its most famous exhibit is “Lucy“, the 3.2 million year-old bone fossils of humans’ ancestors.
There were also many artefacts from a nearer period; although they are also several thousand years old.
Level 2 had the art pieces.
There was also a section on traditional culture.
On our way out, we were approached by a boy who was selling chewing gums. We were charmed by his good English and he pointed out the car owned by the former emperor. We ended buying some gum from him.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral was down the road from the museum but it was closed when we attempted to visit.
Lunch was on our agenda and we somehow managed to figure out the correct minibus in the direction of Antica, a well-known Italian restaurant in Addis Ababa.
And then Ying decided to have another TO.MO.CA.coffee and I caught up with the news there.
While making our way back, we coincidentally ran into the ET crew from the LFW-ADD flight who gave us a ride to the nearby Edna Mall. He insisted on giving some chewing gum, knowing that we couldn’t be getting any back in Singapore.
He wanted to treat us to movies which we weren’t too keen. However we entertained ourselves by observing the Ethiopian middle-class kids and families at the arcade/amusement park before calling it a day later in the afternoon.
Our final day in Addis Ababa was a relaxing one. We slept in and ventured out only at lunch time. Attempted to visit Medhane Alem Cathedral but it was close for unknown reason.
We wounded up at Edna Mall again and decided that a movie was a great idea to while our time away. Blended was entertaining enough. Found it quite interesting to be watching a movie about Africa in Africa (albeit South Africa).
With more than enough birrs for the evening, we decided to have our dinner at La Mandoline, one of the top rated restaurant in Addis Ababa. Spent quite some time locating the place on foot but we were still to early for dinner.
We ordered some dessert and drinks before the restaurant was open for dinner.
Obviously we were the first to be seated and the place started to fill out soon. The service was pretty good with the French owner making sure that nothing went wrong at the front of house. He also called us a cab at the end of our dinner, making sure
The nice meal ended up our short time in Ethiopia. It wasn’t the easiest of place to travel around but the people were generally nice and helpful. With that said, we don’t see ourselves returning anytime in the near future.