Previously KNOT JUST PICS. Same shit, different name.

Ethiopia – Axum

Leaving behind the amazing Gelada baboons we set off for the ancient and mysterious town of Axum which claims to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant .

Our 6 hour scenic drive through the countryside from the Simien mountains to Axum ended up taking us close to 14 hours and included not one, but FIVE flat tyres, road works where entire cliffs were literally collapsed before our eyes and so much dust that by the time we arrived in Axum our hair was as white as a pensioners!

This was the start of the ancient stellae which are estimated to date back nearly three thousand years. Unlike other world heritage sites which are protected and where access is limited, we found people farming and grazing their animals between these ancient monuments.

These rocky piles are believed to be the remnants of the palace of the mythical queen of Sheba. Whether or not she truly existed, the people who ruled this part of the world some 2500 years ago were so powerful that they controlled Yemen, Saudi Arabia and parts of Egypt and Sudan.

Trust Andy to climb up onto a 2500 year old building….

All the houses here are completely made out of rock and as this is a desert region, the familiar sight of donkeys was replaced by the awkward lumbering of camels. It was VERY strange to see camels casually wandering down the streets!

Above are the remnants of the church of St Mary, believed to be the original resting place of the Ark of the Covenant before it was destroyed by a band of marauding Jews under the rule of a warrior queen, Queen Yodit.

And below is the rather unimpressive modern concrete church where the Ark now lives. No one is allowed to approach the church other than the monks who guard it. The Ark is supposed to have supernatural powers that can cause people other than its guardian to spontaneously combust!

The remains of the coronation area where are all the Kings and Emperors of Ethiopia were crowned, except the last emperor, Hailie Selassie as he had the pesky issue following him around of having murdered his predecessor….

Only men are allowed to enter the ‘new’ church of St Mary so while Andy and our guide went exploring in it I had to sit outside and do some people watching and make sure my dangerous ladyness didnt affect the church in anyway.

One of about ten unexplored tombs in this area and while some of them are partially open and excavated, there remain many which have NEVER been explored by Archaeologists!

This particular stellae field is the largest and contains more than 75 stellae of various sizes including three enormous ones that are intricately carved, the largest of which lies broken in pieces. The erection of some of the bigger stellae is attributed to the use of the Ark of the covenant…

Semha was an amazing 10 year old girl we met during our time in Axum. One of the things that impressed us most in Ethiopia was the high level of education the kids receive there, their exceptional general knowledge and how everyone is bi, if not trilingual! Semha took us around a bit and we learnt that despite her mom being  a street vendor, she has great ambitions of becoming a doctor. We exchanged email addresses with her and bought her an Amharic-Tigraian-English dictionary.

Exploring some of the partially uncovered tombs that are dotted around the city.

 

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Andy & Szerdi on Instagram

  • Dream destination wedding on the island of Rhodes in Greece
  • Kaylee and Scott, getting married on the best day of the year to get married 🔥
  • 7 years of saying yes to adventure together. Marrying you was hands down the best thing I’ve ever done, and somehow each year it just gets better and better. Having that person in your corner to fight every battle you face, and celebrate every joy with you just makes this whole life thing so much more incredible! Love you monkey, thanks for being my human! Every year you grow into a more awesome human I just love being around, and still get giddy thinking is mine ☺️
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  • What an honour to witness so much beautiful love.
  • When the mother of all rain storms hit mid reception, everyone retreated into the Prynnsberg manor house and continued the party - soaked through, but happy as all hell! The vibe at Jenna and Jeff’s wedding was amazing! Cannot wait to blog this gem soon!
  • Truth moment right here: the more I fall in love with “real” moment shots and share them on here like my heart tells me to, the lower my engagement. So what do I do? Keep posting the real and authentic, hoping it reaches people who appreciate it? Or focus only on the IG “hero” shots that guarantee the double tap so I can feel popular? It’s quite amazing to see how platforms like IG have shaped in some ways how we as humans interact with things - favoring the polished and curated over the real. Authentic is such a buzzword for wedding photographers at the moment - but a lot of what I’m shown is not that... who are some of your favorite photographers of the authentic? Three of our faves are always @wearetheparsons ,  @kikitography and @the_woods_photography for keeping that shit real 🙌🏽
  • Can’t believe it’s been two years since we shared Paros with these two beautiful souls! What makes this memory even sweeter, is they have grown to become good friends of ours 💜
  • Dreaming of gorgeous sun drenched days as we head off for 3 days of Download music festival in the pouring rain. Hope we don’t Drownload...
  • To keep the IG monster and it’s algorithm happy, have this pretty pic of Kate and Brett.
  • You know, just a casual stroll in a horse manure-filled field with your favorite people.... oooooh did I just make a metaphor for life?!
  • 14 mother flippin’ years! Still the best question I’ve ever asked was asking this boy out - and still greatful he was too polite to turn me down ☺️

We Choose Adventure on Instagram

  • This weekend exceeded all expectations! 🙌 Sooo many good bands, the friendliest people, and delicious veggie food. The mud and rain even made it a proper English festival experience 🌧 This was our first @downloadfest and we WILL be back! Thank you @the_szerd for enjoying the same noisy music as me and always being my band buddy 😘
  • This summer in Europe has been epic for bands so far! Another one from our “must-see” band list. Alice in Chains 🔥 Definite highlights were this song, Them Bones, and Nutshell, which Jerry Cantrell dedicated to Layne Stayley. Totes emosch 😥 @aliceinchains
  • I played bass for a long time and this man was my bass crush 😍 #justinchancellor was worth every second of the 20 year wait to watch this man play 🙌 ... and I got his plectrum ! That’s getting framed.
  • Tool 🙌 I waited 20 years to see this band and it finally happened last night in Berlin, of all places. They were a massive influence on my own band and were actually one of the reasons @the_szerd and I started dating over 15 years ago. I even played in a Tool tribute band back in the day. Excellent times!
  • People watching from the shade.
  • Exploring the narrow streets and alleyways of Stone Town, Zanzibar. This place reminds us so much of the old part of Jeddah with the African/Arab cross culture and architecture.
  • It may be “sun’s out, guns out”, but it’s “balls out” at sunset when the heat finally let’s up.
  • Excellent vibe on what’s left of the beach at high tide.
  • Ocean and people watching from a shadey spot. The guy on the right, dressed in tradition Masai garb, is David. We had along chat about tattoos before he sold me a bracelet.
  • Dear god it’s hot. But also quite nice.
  • Hello Zanzibar 🤗 Can’t wait to get in that water!
  • We’re a hazard when we’re walking the streets cus we’re always looking up and bumping into people. Obsessed with the beautiful Dutch architecture!

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