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Dire Dawa Market

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In the Heart of the Spice Market Dire Dawa  Ethiopia

In the Heart of the Spice Market

Harar, Ethiopia, is a magical place for those who like aimless wandering and getting a bit lost. We strolled through Jugol, the medieval walled city at the heart of Harar, for a few days, straying down alleys and up winding lanes, but one of the places we purposely came back to again and again was the spice market near Showa Gate.

It seems almost too clichéd to say that the air was redolent with spices, but it honestly was - particularly Ethiopia's ubiquitous berbere powder.

A tip for those considering a visit to Harar: If you want to hire a guide to show you around, it's not a bad idea - they can help give you some context and help you get your bearings. But you should absolutely spend a day exploring on your own - it puts a different spin on interactions with people and lets you move at your own pace.