We spent a couple of days in Addis staying with my friend’s sister who lives there. Addis traffic is incredible. In a city with millions of people I saw only one traffic light and it was not working. Most intersections are giant traffic circles and getting through them is a rather daunting task. On the way to my friend’s brother’s house one day, we sat stuck for nearly one half hour–we could not get through the circle. Finally, the passenger in the car to the right of us jumped out and stopped the traffic so we and his driver could get through.
Additionally, it rained often, streets and buildings were under construction, and mud and potholes showed up everywhere. This is a nice traffic circle.
A nice day with little traffic.
They were building a new rail line across the city hoping people would use the train instead of driving.
This is a typical residential street in a newer part of the city. A gate with a guard can be found at each end of the street.
In other parts of the city, houses have walls around them and you back your vehicle out into a street like this, then go to the main street.
Walls around houses are not bare. Lush tropical vines and flowers cover many of them.
Many of the fancier, famous hotels, like the Hilton here, contain fountains and gardens. My friend and I could not resist a photo in front of the pool and fountains.
After wandering around the Hilton we drove to see the grounds of another famous hotel where foreign diplomats often stay. The plants in the foreground are papyrus.
These extensive gardens take a while to walk around. Many of the plants and trees are labelled. From here we could see the Addis skyline.
We stayed in Addis a couple of days. Before we left on a ten day road trip, my friend’s sister took us to a traditional restaurant. I expected it to be filled mostly with tourists–was I ever wrong.
In addition to traditional food, this restaurant features traditional dancing. Many locals came to compete, to try to out-dance the professional dancers.
The lady on the left, one of the professional dancers, and the lady on the right having a little competition. The lady on the left is dressed in traditional dress.
In the background locals try to out-dance the professionals.