Tangible Ethiopia Tour: Meskel (the foundation of true cross) celebration with the historic route by Air:11 Days
This is one of the major religious ceremonies not to be missed in Ethiopia .At the eve of Meskel Celebration there will be a big bone fire (Demera) will be prepared on the centre of Addis (Meskel square).Thousands of Ethiopian Christians with their traditional dressing style will gather at the meskel square hundreds of priests from different church of Addis will come with very colorful church dress and processional cross to perform their amusing chanting for the gathered people.
Legend has it that in the year 326,Queen Helena (Empress Helen) the Mother of Constantine the Great, discovered the cross upon which Christ was crucified. Unable to find the Holy Sepulcher, she prayed for help and was directed by the smoke from a burning fire as to where the cross was buried. After unearthing the Holy Cross, Queen Helena lit torches heralding her success. In the middle ages, the Patriarch of Alexandria gave the Ethiopian Emperor Dawit half of the True Cross in return for protection afforded to the Coptic Christians. A fragment of the True Cross is reputedly held at the Gishen Mariam, about 70 kilometers northwest of Dessie. Ethiopians have been celebrating this day for millennium.
Day to Day Itineraries:
Sept 25: Addis Ababa:
Arrive at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Be met and welcomed by Tangible Ethiopia Tours representative and transferred in to hotel.
Overnight at Zesit lodge.
Refreshment and free time (may be exchange money, when necessary briefing of the itinerary etc. and be ready for the tour).
Sept.26: Meskal Festival at Addis Ababa:
Morning, after breakfast you will have a sightseeing of Addis Ababa which includes Trinity Cathedral beautiful church with a baroque style of European Architecture unique to both Ethiopia and Africa, National Museum-the home of the famous complete hominid fossil remain of Lucy dated 3.6 million years back.
Afternoon, after lunch you will attend the very colorful Meskel Festival (the finding of the true cross) at the Meskel square.
Overnight at Zesit lodge
Sept.27: Transfer to air port and fly to Bahir dar:
Up on arrival check in your hotel and refresh and after lunch, boat trip on lake Tana and visit the ancient monasteries of Ura-kidanmihret and Azwa Mariam.
Overnight in Abyminch lodge.
Sept 28: Blue Nile Falls
After breakfast drive 35 km to the majestic Blue Nile falls commonly called -Tis Isat meaning water that smokes. Drive back to the city in the afternoon and visit Bahir dar market and Weyto village, where papyrus boat is locally produced.
Overnight at Abyminch lodge.
Sept 29: Bahar Dar-Gondar
In the morning drive to Gondar over the rolling countryside and scenic landscapes. Gondar is a town, which was the capital of Ethiopia in the 17th century.
It is the site of ancient castle building palaces of different emperors constructed in the European middle age architectural style, Debre Berehan Silassie church with its ancient mural paintings, Emperor Fasil's pool, which is still use for the Timket (the Ethiopian Epiphany) festival held every January 19.
Overnight Mayleko lodge.
Sept 30: Gondar- Axum
Transfer to the airport and fly to Axum. Axum is famous for its more than 2000 year old Axumite long standing steles measuring some of them up to 33m high, the bath and palace of Queen of Sheba, King Kaleb's and other kings tombs, archaeological museum which is widely rated as Ethiopia's best, the church of St. Mary of Tsion, where the original Ark of covenant is housed. Legend has it that the son of the Queen of Sheba and
King Solomon of Israel, King Menelik I brought the original Ark from Israel to Axum.
Overnight in the Sabean Hotel.
Oct 1: Axum-Yeha- Axum
After breakfast drive to Yeha to visit old temple built before the birth of Christ, and the surrounding area. In the afternoon drive back to Axum and over night at Sabean hotel in Axum.
Oct 2: Axum-Lalibela
Transfer to Airport and fly to Lalibella, famous for its rock hewn churches dating back 800 years, and transferred to the Hotel. The brilliant feats of engineering and architecture of rock hewn churches of Lalibella referred to as the "Eighth wonder of the world". There are 11 rock -hewn churches in the Town of Lalibella which 3 of them are Monolithic (free standing completely detached from the ground), 7 of them are semi-monolithic and 1 church is cave church. And there are more cave, monolithic, semi-monolithic churches in the district of Lasta region.
Overnight at Top 12 hotel.
Oct 3: Lalibela
In the morning half-day excursion by mule to Asheton Mariam to visit the Church that lie on the top of the mountain. The Church itself is similar in style to other rock churches, but the panoramic view of the surroundings is spectacular from the mountaintop.
Return to the hotel for lunch. Afternoon spent visiting more of the rock churches in Lalibella town.
Overnight at Top 12 hotel.
Oct 4: Lalibela-Addis Ababa
Transfer to the Airport and fly back to Addis and transferred to the hotel. The remaining time will be at leisure or more sightseeing tour of the town.
Overnight at Zesit lodge
Oct 5: Departure
Depending on your flight time you will have shopping and or more sightseeing of Addis or visit art galleries. Evening welfare dinner party with national music and dancing and transfer to Bole International Airport for your flight back home.
Price are quoted in USD:
$3,030 for one person travelling alone
$2,210 per person for two people travelling together
$1,795 per person for three people travelling together
$1,545 per person for four people travelling together
$1,322 per person for five people travelling together
$1,170 per person for six people travelling together
$280 = Single Supplement