Lake Tana is a big body of water. It is the largest lake in Ethiopia and the source of the Blue Nile. It is nearly impossible not to charter a boat in Bahar Dar to see the lake. The touts will not let you.
It is a beautiful lake. and a must see. The really interesting thing for most people about the lake is the monasteries. They are scattered on the little islands. And here a boat hire is essential. There are also hippos, weaverbirds and pelicans. And some say the odd crocodile. I do not find the monasteries very interesting, but if you are there it is something to do. After two or tree it get a little repetitious. Boat arrives. Tourist gets out. Going on the little path to the monasteries the villages are trying hard to push their products. After a while this gets a little deja-vu. Same thing over and over. You get to the monetary often on the top of the island. Here you pay entrance fee. Some guy tells about the paintings. The claim some of the drawings are more than 1000 years old. Maybe so, but they have been updated a lot. And really – Who cares. All taking in to consideration it is nice on the lake, and definitely a must see.
Inside the monasteries there are often painting and drums for prying. And sometime you can be lucky to see a priest. I think these guys give a strong impression. Total devotion to God. It is kind of hard to find this in a modern society. This quiet iterative life have been going on for thousand of years.
The paintings inside is often quite gruesome. Purgatory seems like the common theme. I guess this was necessary to keep the sheep in the flock.
There is a lot of traffic on the lake. And it is very beautiful. People are using boats to connect with each other and the mainland.
All in all the beautiful lake Tana is a very nice break from Bahar Dar and definitely worth seeing. The monisternes are interesting qua their location, but the buildings and interiør are found better.