The Blue Nile gently carried our small boat through its outlet from Lake Tana. Indeed a moving experience. We imagined weary explorers worn down by malaria and exhausted by their rough journey, finally reaching the very place people have fantasized about for thousands of years…
To us it was just heavenly beautiful, so very peaceful. Its smooth waters glide past lush green shores and villages hidden behind high papyrus. At its source, nothing hints that the infant river becomes the life line for millions of people. An unbelievable 5.500 kilometers further down, it pours into the Mediterranean.
Less peaceful was an encounter with two young soldiers on the bridge that crosses that newly born river just outside of Bahir Dar. We stopped to take some photos and minutes later were pushed and shoved by two soldiers, one swinging a machinegun, the other a stick. There was no sign prohibiting photography, so we stood our ground.
The whole thing was getting pretty nasty, people gathered around us watching or trying to appease the guy with the gun. The soldiers felt under pressure, not ready to lose face. Finally a jeep stopped, a very well dressed Ethiopian got out and calmed down Mr. Rambo. He apologized to us, explaining the guys had just tried to keep things safe on the busy bridge. What a way to do so!