The gateway to Ethiopia for most people is usually it´s capital, Addis Ababa. Queen Taitu gave it´s name, Addis Ababa means “New Flower” in amharic, one of the main languages in Ethiopia.
Many people think to be in Addis Ababa only one day, but the capital of Ethiopia has a lot of places and interests to visit.
Bole International Airport is located 8km south-east of Addis Ababa and is the larger of the two international airports located in Addis Ababa, the second being the Lideta Airport which is located in the south-west of the capital. Journey to the center of the city is 30 minutes by bus or taxi.
Interesting:I can provide something different service for backpackers because many people asked a place to store their bags when they live Addis for short trips.
With a population of more than two million people (the second country with most population in Africa behind Nigeria), Addis Ababa is not only the political capital but also the economic and social nerve-center of Ethiopia where the meetings of the African Union take place. Founded by Emperor Menelik II in 1887, this big, sprawling, hospitable city still bears the stamp of his exuberant personality.
More than 21,000 hectares in area, Addis Ababa is situated in the foothills of the 3,000 meters Entoto Mountains and rambles pleasantly across many wooded hillsides and gullies cut through with fast flowing streams. Addis Ababa is one of the five capital cities in the world with high altitude with 2355 metres, the first is La Paz (Bolivia).
According to the Bible Society in 2011, thousands of women work on the mountains carrying very heavy loads of eucalyptus wood on their backs to the city below, for an income of less than 50 pence a day. A prominent peak is Mount Entoto, which served as Menelik II’s capital before the founding of Addis Ababa. It is considered a sacred location and holds many monasteries.
- In the Entoto mountains you can enjoy the panoramic view over Addis Abeba, enjoy nature and visit the Entoto Maryam Church which is the oldest Church of Addis Abeba, founded by Emperor Menelik II. Next to the Church is the Emperor Menelik and Empress Taitu Memorial Museum.
Addis Ababa is as cosmopolitan as any of the world’s great metropolises, and the architecture is as varied as the city itself. Tall office buildings, elegant villas, functional bungalows, flat, fashionable hotels, conference halls, and theaters – gleaming in their marble and anodized aluminum – vie for attention alongside traditional homes of wattle and daub, surrounded by cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens. Addis Ababa is full of contrats: the modern architecture is building towards simply houses, towering glass buildings with offices and slums, modern shopping centres and traditional markets.
There is no designated ‘city centre’ because, until very recently, there was no urban planning. Addis Ababa simply grew in a natural, organic way, and its present appearance reflects this unforced and unstructured evolution.
(1,2) Creative Commons Photos via Flickr
An interesting information about Entoto in the Sara Genene´s blog, here