Next stop was Lalibela, famous for it's rock-hewn churches. Below is the view of our drive from the airport to the town of Lalibela at an altitude of almost 2,800 m.
We had read about and seen pictures of these churches but it was amazing to actually see these 13th century monolithic churches carved out of rock with nothing but hammers and chisels. The building of these churches is attributed to King Lalibela who set out to create a 'New Jerusalem.' The churches were hewn out of rock, and then roofs, doors, windows, and columns were chiseled out. The setting of these churches in a mountainous region in the heart of Ethiopia only accentuates their beauty. Four of the 13 churches were completed as free-standing structures attached to rock only at their base. Here are a few pictures of these incredible structures.
St. George's Church from above (note the depth
of the hole that was chiseled out).
We completed our day by having dinner in this restaurant jointly operated by a Scot and an Ethiopian. Watching the sun set from our guest house and then feasting on shepherd's pie with Ethiopian spices made for a stunning ending to the day.
Views from our guest house.