Some two hours drive from Axum – plus a further one hours, stiff uphill walk from the point where the road ends – lies the monastery of Debre Damo, situated on a clifftop in one of the wildest parts of Tigray. Debere Damo is unique and unforgettable. The bluff on which Damo stands is a real – life Shangri-La. Remote and beautiful, far from the hustle and bustle of the 21st century, the cool celestial island of rock offers panoramic views over the surrounding countryside and complete seclusion and peace for the hundred or so monks and deacons who live there. The monastery’s treasures include an extensive collection of illuminated manuscripts and the intricate carving on the beams and ceiling of the ancient around which the monastery is built.