The time for us to leave Ethiopia has come. With cheer in our faces we boarded the airplane and I sat, this time, on a window seat, staring through the glass from the very take off. Immediately after, I pointed her Entoto, and commented our walks in search of hyena holes. Few minutes later, we swiftly flew by the Nile canyon with its ancient Portuguese bridge, laughing about the cheeky baboons encountered on its slopes. Following, the wondrous Blue Nile Falls appeared underneath, and we recalled the involuntary showers during our picture session. Gondar’s castle came across our view, and nearby the Fasilades bath, where we experienced the unique Timkat celebration. We were having the trip of our lives and the aircraft took a sudden right turn, that provided us the opportunity to admire again the incomparable rock hewn churches of Lalibela and Gheralta. We crossed the Afar region and veered left over the old town of Harar, our favourite civilizations crossroads and most adventurous destination for historical travellers, poets, and spies. But the pilot did not have enough of Afar and returned to its most Northern point, where we flew in slow motion, recalling our last visit to the lava crater volcano of Erta Ale in full moon. Later I spotted the beautiful red rose in the Danakhil salt lake that she planted with her own blood and I watered with my tears, the one we named Aleksandra. I was so excited to see it that I kept repeating her:
– Look, it is our rose, it is her!
But she never responded. I did not mind, because I knew that from the end of that flight she would have the rest of my life to show me the beauty of the North.
6 Jul 1980-15 Feb 2014