Situated on the southern extremity of Lake Tana, Bahir Dar is a
decidedly attractive town with palm-lined avenues and pretty lakeside
vistas. Nearby Lake Tana, 1,800 meters above sea level, is one of the
long hidden source of the Nile. The Tissiat falls (meaning water that
smokes) are 30 kms down from where the Blue Nile leaves the lake towards
Khartoum.Approached by foot up a long winding path and crossing a 17th
century bridge built by
Emperor Fasiledes, the falls cascade down 50 mts over a 400mts area. Lake Tana's 3600 sq.kms surface is dotted with more than 30islands, many of which are the sites ofmonasteries and churches, some dating from the 14th century in the reign of Emperor Amde Tsion. A motor boat takes you from the charming market town of Bahir Dar to Ura Kidanemihret, a monastery on the mainland peninsula at Zegie, where a treasury of ancient illuminated bibles is stored. Along the way, papyrus canoes are used by the local people since ages past for fishing and gathering firewood.