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The Lake Island Monasteries of Ethiopia
Lake Tana in Northern Ethiopia is a lovely place to spend a few days. In addition to being the source of the Blue Nile, it's home to a stunning array of holy places. If you make your way to the friendly town of Bahir Dar, you can hire a boat to take you to one of the little islands within the lake that host ancient but active monasteries. I happened upon this amazing oasis on Easter Sunday. The religious festivities began at dusk on the evening before Easter with drumming and singing filling the air until dawn. When I boarded a little motorboat to the islands at 7am, the revelry was over, but images of the previous night's festivities were everywhere. Some islands are not accessible to women, but just ask the boatmen - who can be arranged through hotel desk clerks in Bahir Dar - which destination is best and they will take you to a magical place where time seems to stand still.
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