On our first morning of our visit to Fes in Morocco we set off in our tour bus to visit a number of places around the city. Near the gates of the Royal Palace we met our guide for the day. He is the person on the left in the photo above, but I forget his name.
The morning was crisp and cool, being the middle of winter (mid December). I didn’t expect to see autumn leaves on the trees here; this wasn’t part of the image I had of this country. Now matter where we went I was constantly surprised by such things.
During our two week stay in Addis Ababa last December, we hired a driver to take us to Mount Entoto Natural Park. Much of the city is at an altitude of about 2500 metres and is ringed by a chain of mountains reaching up to about 3100 metres.
When we left the school campus where our daughter was teaching last year it was a pleasantly mild day, probably about 20C with a clear sky. As we drove to the top of the mountain over the next hour, the temperature progressively dropped and was quite chilly at the top.
Along the way we drove through a dense eucalyptus forest. It was a bizarre feeling, almost as if we were driving through the Adelaide Hills here in South Australia – yet we were in Ethiopia. These trees were planted in the late 1800s as firewood became scarcer in the surrounding hills. More were planted over the next 50 or so years and they remain the dominant tree in the greater Addis Ababa area. They are ideally suited to the soil and climate, and provide much needed safeguards against erosion. They also provide much needed supplies of firewood and building materials for local people.
Last spring we visited the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. This was after attending a food fair in a suburb a few minutes to the east. After our pleasant stroll through the gardens we stopped for a cuppa and picnic in Botanic Park. This open public area is between the gardens and the Adelaide Zoo.
Botanic Park is popular with families having picnics, for playing simple games with children and generally having a relaxing time. Throughout the year some major festivals utilise the area for displays, musical presentations and even drama. Today I share some lovely photos taken while we were have our picnic.