My son Kosta came to visit us in Ethiopia last week. It was his spring break – he’s a graduate student at University of Wisconsin – but unfortunately not ours. I think we managed to keep him entertained pretty well despite work/school time constraints. I took a couple of personal days to extend the first weekend and hired a driver to take the two of us on a road trip to eastern Ethiopia.
We stayed the first night in the city of Dire Dawa. This town’s main claim to fame (actually its reason for existence) is that it was the initial endpoint of a railway running from the port at Djibouti into Ethiopia. The railway was later extended to Addis but it was never profitable. It was abandoned for a while but just a few years ago the government repaired the tracks and started running a few cargo trains between Djibouti and Dire Dawa.
Right now Ethiopia is building a brand new railway that will connect Djibouti to Addis. The last portion, the Addis end, is still under construction, but on our trip we saw a train coming from Djibouti on the new tracks.
Then it was back into the vehicle and on to to Harar – photos tomorrow.