We took a short flight from Lalibela to Axum (also known as Aksum), where we arrived around midday. Axum was a historic capital of Ethiopia – allegedly the past empire of Queen Sheba and the present home of the Ark of the Covenant. We went for a walk in the afternoon to explore – our first stop was the minor stelae field, where stone obelisks stand.
Opposite this is “Queen Sheba’s Palace” – said to be the former residence of Queen Sheba (historians and archaelogists would disagree with this!)
Our next stop was the Ezana stone, which is similar to the Rosetta stone in that three different languages are found on it. Our final stop for the afternoon was King Ezana’s tomb, where we descended through clouds of bugs to see an ancient tomb.
We booked a local guide for the next day…whose services we unfortunately had to cancel after Reuben became sicker throughout the night than either of us had been on the whole trip. Instead of being tourists, I went to the chemist to buy antibiotics and ORS – poor Reuben. He managed to make it out to see the famous major stelae field – we took a tuktuk, which are now found in some parts of Ethiopia. We spent a little time wandering this impressive field before Reubs needed to go back to bed – we were sad not to see more of Axum but glad we had made the most of our first day before Reubs got sick!