Robert Schrader

Robbery Amid the Rocks of Axum

Axum had been an afterthought as I planned my trip to Ethiopia—I only spent a night there because the company who sold me my trip into the Danakil Depression (more on that in a second) also sold me a trip to the Tigray Cave Monasteries, which were halfway between Axum and Mek'ele, where my Danakil tour would depart from.

But low expectations always produce great results, especially in Ethiopia, so Axum ended up charming me, from the ruins of the mansion of the Queen of Sheba, to the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. Low expectations and low guard: By the time I realized I'd been robbed by the pre-teen who walked me up to the lion rock carving located on a hill of boulders just outside the city, he'd already taken advantage of his closeness to the ground and run away much faster than I could.

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