My blog entry is here
The Gheralta Lodge is gorgeous. I was lucky to have three nights there. I could happily have stayed for a couple more. Apart from the rock-hewn churches in the Tigrai region, the market at Hawzien is meant to be amazing. Unfortunately I didn’t find out about it until it had finished. If you go to Gheralta (which I highly recommend) do ask when the market is.A word of caution on this one too. The friends who’d visited just before me went by road from Lalibella to Gheralta. They said the drive was scenically beautiful, but that it took ten hours and two flat tyres and was pretty uncomfortable. I decided to fly instead. There is no direct flight from Lalibella to Mekelle (the nearest airport to Gheralta). The options were to fly by to Addis then fly north again or to fly via a day’s stopover in Axum. I chose the latter. After waiting to check in for nearly two hours at Axum airport, it emerged that the flight didn’t exist (and hadn’t done for about four months when I bought the ticket direct from Ethiopian Airlines’ webssite). After a stressful couple of hours in their Axum office, they arranged for me to be driven to the Gheralta Lodge. The 5.5 hour drive was scenically impressive and interesting, but I wouldn’t have chosen it over a 20 minute flight. I don’t know whether the website has now been updated, but it might be advisable to speak to Ethiopian airlines to check that any domestic flights you book do actually run. The Axum to Mekelle flight I’d booked for a Monday turned out to have been reduced to Fridays only. A quick Google suggests that I am not the only person to have had this sort of problem.