Today it was back to work after the three-day Orthodox Easter weekend. For Ethiopian Christians, this is a holiday spent at home with family, but for faranji like us it presented a good chance for a short crowd-free getaway.
Our family decided to leave early Friday and spend the night in a nearby area popular with weekenders. The town of Debre Zeyit was originally named Bishoftu, but was renamed Debre Zeyit (Mount of Olives in Amharic) under Haile Selassie’s rule when there was a movement toward more biblical names. It has been officially Bishoftu again since the 1990s, but it seems Debre Zeyit has stuck as that is what everyone calls it.
The town is in a hilly area – the Bishoftu volcanic field – and features not just one, but six (I think) natural crater lakes: Bishoftu, Hora, Bishoftu Guda, Babogaya, Koriftu, and Cheleklaka. We stayed at the Babogaya Resort, a clean, modern hotel with a good restaurant right on the water. Next time I will bring my binoculars because there were so many interesting birds.