Travelling to Genata Maryam took us through stunning landscape. Crossing the oasis-like River Jordan was only one of the highlights! Together with a German family, we rented a taxi to this rock-hewn church an hour’s drive outside Lalibela.
Genata Maryam is famous for its 12th century old paintings. But after looking at so many churches, what we most enjoyed was being the only tourists in this place and chatting with relaxed priests and locals living on a nearby hill.
One of the clerics was especially cool looking. His fake Ray Ban sunglasses were in sharp contrast with his priestly robe. An elderly woman succeeded in begging off some Birr from us, by insisting she need clothes for going to church. Later, when we passed her tiny stone hut, we witnessed a funny, but also moving scene. Sitting on a dirty mattress, she was counting a bundle of equally dirty Birr notes. Hopefully, it soon will be enough for the new church outfit or whatever!
Driving back in the rain we picked up several priests, and two other tourists. We felt much better with the minibus used to its real capacity, not just a few Farenjis in a huge vehicle…