Some four hours drive from Axum-plus a further two hours, stiff uphill walk from the road ends – lay the monastery of Debre Damo, situated on a cliff top in one of the wildest part of Tigray. Debre 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 church around which the monastery is built.