The Balearic Islands, the Turkish Riviera and the Canary Islands were the most popular travel destinations for Germans in the last year. For many summer holidays mean: full sun, beach and sea, relaxation and all-inclusive vacations. But I prefer more exotic areas. No, I do have a passion for it. I want to get to know every place in this world, to scan it with my eyes and explore it with my feet. The more exotic, the better. Because not many people have already been to such special, different and wild areas. My expectations are neither influenced by advertising brochures, nor by other tourists.
On my travel to-do list there are still numerous, less touristic places left which I want to present you in the next days as my personal top 5 where to go this year:
Ethiopia – The fire in East Africa
Ethiopians like to travel a lot. And they are good hosts. In every small town there are hotels and hostels, which are mostly strange for European tourists and are in need of getting to used to. Hygiene and safety are not always guaranteed. Who wants to travel to Ethiopia should be aware of this. But it is worthwhile to visit that east African country.
The Blue Nile in Bahir Dar, the Baroque castle complex in Gondar and the holy city of Harar are absolute musts for culture vultures. Nature lovers can relax in the various national parks – in total 18 across the whole country – and go to the Lake Tana for an expedition. The flora is very diverse and includes about 7,000 different plant species. Ethiopia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. And also the fauna pack a ounch. In Ethiopia there live very rare animal species such as the jackal and the Ethiopian Mountain Nyala, who are comfortable staying in six thousand feet above sea level. Mountaineers and hikers have the chance to encounter one of these rare species while doing an extended hiking or climbing tour in the highlands of Abyssinia. The East African country is particularly well suitable for mountain lovers, who like letting off steam in the low mountain range. The highest mountain is Ras Daschaen which is about 4,500 meters high. The Ethiopian cuisine is also recommended.
The kitchen is hot – often too hot for the European taste. Many dishes are vegetarian, because not every citizen can afford meat. or they only eat it on special occasions. Of course, you can find many meat dishes in restaurants, which are served less hot – if you ask. Then the berbere sauce is served in an additional bowl. So you can spice up your meal on your own. Berbere is largely unknown in Europe. It’s a hot blend of spices, which is native to the Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine. This potpourri essentially consists of chilli, ginger, cinnamon, garlic, clove, coriander, allspice and rue. Ethiopia has fire.
You cannot only feel the fire in your food. The modern music is permeated by wild rhythms and exotic sounds. Whether military music, free jazz or Latin American influences – The music style is unique and differs strongly from the traditional sounds in other African countries. Among the most famous Ethiopian artists are Aster Aweke and Bizunesh Bekele.
A special experience is a visit in a bet tej, a special restaurant, where you can listen to the krar – an unique plucked instrument. And even while taking a stroll on a traditional market you can discover one or another treasure. The Merkato is the biggest market in whole Africa, where you can buy foods, beverages and thousands of other products. This maze of people, stalls and food can strongly overexert the senses, but it also reveals a special part of the Ethiopian culture, namely the everyday life.