Temple of underground stone
Traveling from the Middle-East south to Lalibela, Ethiopia, I am to visit the ancient ruins of the Church of St. George. Ethiopia is on the Eastern coast of the continent of Africa, between Somalia and Sudan. The country has an area of 430,000 square miles, and a population of 100,000,000. They have a nominal GDP per capita of a little over $600. The official language of Ethiopia is called Amharic, although a number of other languages are recognized by the population. Found in the top half of the country, the rock hewn city of Lalibela features many fine examples of ancient architecture. The finest example would arguably be the Church of St. George. From above, it resembles a cross, or an "x". I am not even aware that I am approaching it until I am nearly on top of it, as the roof of it is level with the ground. The base of it is 30 metres below my feet, so I cannot fully appreciate the height until I enter the trench leading to it and stand at the carved doors. It is a "monolithic church" which from what I gather means that is was hewn from one large block of rock. The odd colourationn leads me to wonder what type of rock it is made from. My immediate guess would be limestone or slate, but the way it has retained its structure and shape. It has a reddish orange tint that may mean that the stone holds an amount of iron. So far this has been one of my favorite stops, next to CERN, yet I still expect more surprises.