A photo of the late-great Terry Wogan, Irish broadcaster extraordinaire
Our balcony

Walking around the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela really took it out of me.  I had hurt my knee a few days earlier and the uneven ground, steep inclines and hundreds of steps had it swelling up like a balloon!  By the time we broke for lunch I was in agony and, embarrassingly, found myself in tears on the street being comforted by Magda, one of the children who had tagged along with us as we visited the churches.  As much as I didn’t want to miss anything, I knew I couldn’t keep up with the others.  So, regretfully, I made my way back to the hotel.  Once Mark had made sure I was safely ensconced, he took the camera and went to rejoin the group.

Alone in our hotel room, I went to rest my knee in the sunshine out on the balcony.  Luckily, as I mentioned in a previous post, the hotel in Lalibela was one of the better ones on the trip!  Once there, I went on the internet and the first thing I saw was a report that Terry Wogan had died.  It was like a body blow.  The floodgates opened and I cried for the second time in one day!!  How ridiculous – I never even met the man!  Yes, I was feeling low anyway because I was in so much pain and missing out on a part of our trip, but, also, Terry Wogan was such a huge part of my life that it felt like I had lost yet another member of my family!  I tuned into Radio 2 on the i-player and, as I listened to the tributes pouring in for the great man, memories came flooding back.  My Dad loved Terry Wogan.  He always listened to his breakfast show.  He quoted his catchphrases, read his books, and watched him whenever he appeared on TV.  All of my memories of Terry Wogan are linked to happy memories of my Dad.  I found myself laughing through my tears, especially when an episode of ‘Janet and John’ was played – my Dad’s favourite!  I had bought him all of the CDs and loved listening to them with him on the rare occasions we were alone together in the car in his later years (my Mum wouldn’t let him play them in the house!).

This is what I’m talking about for anyone who’s never heard it:

RIP Sir Terry Wogan – thank you for the laughter.

As for the other churches of Lalibela, Mark reported back that they were very similar to the ones we had seen in the morning.  He visited Bet Gabriel-Rufael and then Bet Merkorios which was accessed by a series of trenches and tunnels from the first church.  The discovery of ankle shackles here has led historians to believe that Bet Merkorios was once the town’s prison.


Bet Gabriel-Rufael


Accessing Bet Merkorios via a tunnel


Bet Merkorios


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