Traveling in Ethiopia is a bit like traveling through a fantasy novel. Each town has its own spectacular draw, from the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, to the monasteries dotting the islands near Bahir Dar and the royal castles in Gondar. In each town you meet people you certainly wouldn’t otherwise, people whose personalities and stories may surprise and delight you, much like a fairy tale character.
The castle complex in Gondar was like visiting a fairy tale. We were so surprised at the architecture, which closely resembled European castles, unlike anything else we’d seen on the entire continent. The complex hosts castles from various time periods and from various monarchs, but despite the ruined state of some of the structures, places like King Fasilides bath, the steam rooms and the lion cages still exist. Of course nothing is gilded or lavishly covered in tiles or textiles anymore, but you can only imagine the wealth of the kingdom—the size of the buildings alone makes them remarkable for Africa.