Trip Start Sep 28, 2005
103Trip End Jun 24, 2006
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Miles travelled: 65141
A short 20-minute flight brought us to Bahir Dar, on the southern shore of Lake Tana. This is Ethiopia's largest lake and is the source of the Blue Nile River, which provides over 75% of the water in the Nile River as it flows through Egypt. Really then, Lake Tana was literally the life-source for one of the world's greatest civilizations. We saw the Blue Nile Falls, the largest falls in Ethiopia -- unfortunately about 75% of the flow is now diverted to a hydroelectric plant, so what we saw doesn't come close to Victoria or Igauzu Falls that we've seen in our travels.
On Lake Tana there are a number of ancient monasteries dating from the 14th century, most still active
Though the Felasha Jews are mostly gone now, there are still many Jewish overtones in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, for example the legend of the Ark of the Covenant. Each orthodox church has a concentric structure similar to the Jewish Temple, with the inmost chamber called the "Holy of Holies" and only the high priest is allowed to enter. Each church also has a replica of the "tabot" (tablet of the Ten Commandments) which is put in the Holy of Holies.