Images from Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth

Travels of a Youth

Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth disk image

Order Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth nowEthiopia: Travels of a Youth takes you down the highways and byways of Eritrea and Ethiopia during the late 1960s when I lived there with the US Army. This book, read with your internet browser, has over 75,000 words and 440 pictures along with 11 videos and 11 sound tracks (with over 60 minutes of music).

It was October, 1967. I had recently completed nine months of Swahili training and several weeks of communications intelligence training. Being in the Army was only my work. I was about to begin a two-year romance with an ancient land and culture. A year in Viet Nam sandwiched itself in the middle, but it only acted as a separation in a budding romance with Ethiopia, it only piqued my interest and desire.

I was initially drawn in by the physical splendor of the high mountains and deep valleys, the cool plateaux and scorching deserts, the poor agricultural land and the rich treasures of the Red Sea. Only later did I begin to study the ancient culture and tenacious people.

Living in the country, I was able to leisurely wander the land in times of both excitement and boredom. I began to learn about a place and a people, their greatness and their shortcomings. I came to know and not know, to like and dislike, to appreciate and to look for more. In a word, I was in love. And like many budding love affairs, I suspect I didn't know it at the time. But I do now.

Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth tells the story of that romance. As you read it, I expect that you'll learn new things and have new feelings about the place, the people, and the author. For travel is as much a journey into the depths of the traveler as it is through a foreign land.

Each chapter of this book is a snapshot of a valley, a road, a city, a place. Some chapters (like "Cycling Python Valley" and "Leaving Ethiopia by Sea") recount single experiences. Others (like "Asmara to Nefasit" and "Matara") are composites of many experiences.

Preview Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth

This site includes introductory text to all chapters and appendices of Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth. You can get to any chapter from the Table of Contents. The preview also includes the entire text and graphics for the chapters listed below to give you the feel of the book. This preview does not include any of the videos or sound tracks in the book. You must buy the full version to get all the graphics, videos, sound tracks, and the remainder of the text.

You can preview the following chapters and the graphics appendix. The list following the buttons gives some details of each item. Note: Several chapters mention a different price in the yellow note text on the bottom of the page. The current price is $13.95.

  • Table of Contents is the entire contents of the book. All links work but they all go to abbreviated chapters, except for those listed here above. Feel free to browse around.

  • Index is really the first of three files that make up the index. In the full version each entry has a link that takes you the location of the term in the text. This feature does not work here in the sample files. The index is here in the preview only to show you the wide range of topics covered in the book.

  • Asmara to Massawa by Road is the introductory chapter to several chapters that describe main road between Asmara and Massawa and its side highlights. This chapter has a special map. When you click on a road or railroad on the map you are taken directly to the chapter or place in a chapter that describes that road or feature along the road. The "A Walk in Asmara," "Asmara to Karen," "Where are We," and "An Archeological Triangle" chapters all have similar maps with links built into them to help you move to specific text.

  • Debra Damo describes a 14-hundred-year-old monastery and its frightful vertical climb to get to it.

  • Ghinda to Massawa describes driving the Asmara-Massawa road between Ghinda and Massawa.

  • Northern Cutoff describes my drive down a safe but very off-limits road northeast of Asmara. The only rain forest I ever encountered in Ethiopia (maybe the only one in all of northern Ethiopia!) sits hidden from the sun on the north side of a ridge along this road.

  • The Graphic List appendix lists thumbnails of almost all graphics in the book. When you have full version of the book and you click on any graphic, you go directly to where that graphic is in the text. In this demonstration, you only have thumbnail views of all pictures in the book. This file downloads many small graphics and can take a significant amount or time to load all files from the internet if you have a slow connection. So please give it time to load.


In a review of Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth, Graeme Petterwood, editor of the Tasmanian Numismatist, said that the book is "much, much more than a picturesque geographical travelogue, numismatic or historical treatise dated 1967 - 1970. It is all of these - but it also entertains, it educates and, in places, it even hurts with the brutal honesty of its subject matter." He continues, "The combination of well written texts and graphic and sometimes haunting word pictures make this a ... 'must have' ... for ... anyone who wants to own a substantial wedge of the history and awesome beauty from this part of the world we rarely think of."

Read the entire review in the August, 2002 edition of the Tasmanian Numismatist. Search for Ethiopia from the top of the page to get to the review.

Buy Ethiopia: Travels of a Youth now

We used to deliver this book to you on CD-ROM. Now for your convenience, we download it to you immediately after you buy it.

Price: $13.95

After you pay you will be returned to a page with a link for you to download the book.

Last changed: Oct 2017.
Copyright © 2001-2017 Mike Metras,