My first trip to Africa was supposed to be a trip to photograph the ancient Christmas pilgrimage to Lalibela, one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities. Unfortunately, that trip was cancelled but, when I learned that Ethiopian Airlines flew direct from Toronto to Addis Ababa I saw Ethiopia as a logical stop over enroute to Nairobi in 2012. Once in Addis it is a short flight to Lalibela, World Heritage site of the Ethiopia’s Orthodox Christian rock hewn monolithic medieval churches. I was enchanted at first sight. The frescoed faces on the walls of the ancient monasteries came alive in the children we passed in the streets and markets. Our guide took us to monasteries in the mountains, ancient churches hewn down into the rock and a local market that attracted 10,000 people. One of the most magical moments was sitting under the stars with our legs hanging over the rock ledge as the priests and pilgrims sang and chanted a special service to Mary, Mother of Jesus. We rode in one of the few vehicles seen on the roads, most people walked. It was like travelling back in time.