At around 4pm, as the glare of Ethiopia’s afternoon sun softens and is embraced by outstretched shadows, the ancient walled city of Harar in the country’s east comes to life. Seeping from the 16th century labyrinth of thin alleyways that are coloured pastel-pink, pale blue, mustard yellow and green, local merchants take up long-held positions on either side of the cobblestone thoroughfares to ply their trade. It’s a feast for the senses – a heady mixture of colour and movement where wisps of sweetened incense curl around you as you walk; where tiny cauldrons, simmering with goat meat and vegetables stained orange by paprika and local spices, fill household doorways; where the aroma of freshly brewed Ethiopian coffee greets you at every corner…..
….Sorry, I got a bit carried away.
Of all the Ethiopian cities I have visited, Harar is my favourite – an incredible oasis of colour and character quite distinct from the rest of the country (as my introductory burst of prose might suggest, I could happily spend several months here writing a book about it).
I’ll post more photographs – indeed my favourite picture from the entire shoot – a bit later.