• Unique Ethiopian culture, food, and churches


    Ethiopia may not be what most travelers think of when they imagine a luxurious getaway, but it does offer adventurous visitors a rare glimpse at a truly unique culture.

    The Ethiopians have their own calendar, based on the Coptic Calendar. The Ethiopian calendar has 13 months, and it is currently 2003 in the country. The language Ethiopians speak, Amharic, is a Semitic language and has its own alphabet, according to the Associated Press. To visitors' relief, Ethiopians drive on the right side of the road and English is widely spoken.

    Ethiopian food consists of meat-heavy sauces and the spongy bread called injera, which is both consumed and used as a utensil for scooping up the meat sauce.

    Some remnants of the brief 1930s Italian occupation exist, including restaurants serving pasta and pizza with a slight Ethiopian twist. The country also has many Italian-style coffeehouses that serve strong espresso and macchiato.

    When in Ethiopia, the 13 churches at Lalibela are not to be missed. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, these churches were commissioned in the 12th century and slowly chiseled out of the rock with hammers over decades.

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