Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Four days in Nazreth

Last week I was in Adama(Nazreth) for four days (Monday to Thursday)to visit a friend. I had the opportunity to take the new express highway from Akaki to Nazreth. This super highway in short is spectacular. It actually takes about 40 minutes to reach Nazreth from Akaki. What also surprised me were the green plants and flowers grown along the roads. It gives it an additional pleasant appearance and ambiance. Throughout the road, one also admires the panoramic view of the field, county side huts, and chains of hills. Indeed, the professional engineers and the entire construction workers who accomplished the task of the express way should be given a round of applause. 
When I reached Nazreth, I was astonished to witness the explosion of the town’s population. I also observed a number of modern hotels, and other tall business buildings. The trees and flowers along the roads of Nazreth are indeed impressive. A day later, my friend invited me to pay a visit at the ‘LaResidence’ before I returned to Addis. I asked what ‘La Residence’ stood for. He explained that it means the new La Residence Hotel & Spa in Adama built few months back. Being a little bit curious I decided to visit it and in the afternoon we drove to the new hotel which is not far from the center of the town.  When we reached the place I said:“WOW!” At the first glance, I thought it was a huge palace. The white color building is four or five stories high with impressive architecture.
When we approached the main entrance of the hotel, a man opened the door and introduced himself as Alain. Mr. Alain Bel is a French gentleman who is married to an Ethiopian lady. It is through their enormous effort and big investment that they managed to build this magnificent hotel. Alain was kind enough to give us a tour of the hotel. First we visited the lobby which is wide and decorated with oriental chairs, tables and side desks. The ceiling is probably the highest I have ever seen in Ethiopian hotels. At the corner of the lobby, there is a bar. It is also adorned with oriental shelves and long chairs. After experiencing the warm climate of Nazreth, it feels so good to sit in the lobby and enjoy the cool temperature with a cold beer, soft drink or cappuccino.
Subsequently, we took a tour of the bedrooms. When the owner opened one of the bed rooms, it was indeed a wonderful setting. The room is wide with a big bed, side tables and chairs. There is a wide flat screen TV and through the windows you can see beautiful view of the town. When I stood in the bedroom, the first thing that came to my mind was: ‘what a place for honeymooners!’
After a pleasant visit, we thanked the owner and when we were on the verge of leaving, Alain suggested that we should come another time around 6:30pm to witness the amazing sunset. I was puzzled what would be new about sunsets. In the evening, as my friend was busy with some other commitments; I went alone to the hotel and reached at exactly the recommended time. When I entered the hotel, I got the opportunity of meeting Dr Amakelech, the wife of Mr. Bel. With a humble approach, she asked me if I needed any assistance. I explained that I have visited her hotel a few hours back and I simply came to see the sunset.
Generally speaking sunsets are reddish yellow. Believe me, what I witnessed was astonishing. The sunset I saw was blue. You will have to see it to believe it. I have witnessed sunsets countless of times, but I did not encounter this kind of color. I sat and watched the sky for almost an hour wondering if this is the effect of climate change or natural sunset. This extraordinary Hotel & Spa is worth visiting by local or foreign tourists. In brief, I would like to congratulate the couple for their achievement of La Residence Hotel & Spa resort place and wish them every success in their future endeavor.
On the third day of my visit, my friend took me to Sodere. Please note that I have not been to Sodere for a long time. As the road is nicely paved with asphalt, it took us a mere 30 minutes from Nazreth. When we reached the entrance gate we were requested to pay 30 Birr each. Since we went on Wednesday, it was not crowded. However, many things have changed including the installation of a big impressive house opposite to the swimming pool. We also visited the newly built modern villas. I was certainly pleased to visit it after a period of time. 
Once again I drove back to Addis via the express highway. What a smooth drive and what a relief driving without the hassle of pushing around with lorries, taxis, donkeys, horse-drawn cart, etc. at least until Akaki. From Akaki on my way to Addis, I was surrounded by pedestrians, big lorries and taxis. I sincerely hope to see replica of the express highway between Akaki and center of Addis as well.