|Harar Jugol's iconic (main) gateway. The portrait in the middle is that of the city's last emir.|
I was lucky, because Gavin was showing them around, as it's there first time hereabouts. Also, it's good for Idu, as he does some tour guiding on the side and Harar, perhaps the only tourist destination in East Ethiopia (Danakil is a bit northern, and better accessed via the northern Ethiopian city of Mekelle), should be on his have-been-to list.
|Harar is about an hour (or 1-1/2 hrs) away from Dire Dawa by mini bus (van or V-hire, to us). The view uphill from the desert plains of Dire Dawa was breathtaking.|
|Welcome arch of Harar City.|
|Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town within the modern Harar City. In Harar, we were met by Idu's friend, who served as our guide.|
Harar Jugol is very much influenced by Arabic culture, or perhaps, Yemeni. Very colorful. It would have been even more colorful another day of the week, with people bustling about. Sunday is rest day here, not the traditional Friday of an Islamic place.
One museum was open, though. The Ras Tafari house. The former Haile Selassie is said to have stayed/lived/honeymooned here. It's now a privately-owned museum with an assortment of Ethiopian cultural memorabilia.
|The villa was built by Indians.|
|The main door is distinctly Indian, with the image of the Hindu deity Ganesha carved on it.|
|The Ras Tafari house afforded a stunning view of the city.|
|Very late lunch at a cultural restaurant after the walking tour.|