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March 7, 2002

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Gondar, an Ethiopian fairy tale, showcases old European style castles from the sixteenth century. The castle complex remains deserted, which adds to its charm as a place from legend. Gondar served as Ethiopia's first permanent capital. With so few tourists in town our movements draw attention. Strangers in the streets surprise us by being familiar with our activites. They ask us if we enjoyed our grocery shopping, or if we finished mailing our letters at the post office. The people always smile but it's unsettling to know strangers watch us so closely.
Africa's Camelot, Gonder provides unique sights in Africa. The oldest and best castle is Fasiladas', built in the 1600's.
Besides the castles, Gondar has the country's most famous church, Debre Berhan Sleassie. The walls and ceilings display Ethiopian art at its height. The heads of 80 Ethiopian cherubs, each unique, cover the ceiling. Another painting depicts the Prophet Mohammad on a camel being led by the devil.
Walk Gonder's streets and you're bound to attract little friends.
Overview of Gonder and the Royal Enclosure from the Goha hotel.