Ethiopia travels: rock-hewn churches, volcanic craters and sociable monkeys

Everything felt raw, imposing and beautiful, says CNN senior director Brice Laine of his recent trip to Ethiopia. Looking down into the Erta Ale volcanic crater was, he says, "like witnessing the birth of Earth." Located in the Danakil Depression and known as "the gateway to hell" among local Afar people, it's the world's oldest active lava lake.

Everything felt raw, imposing and beautiful, says CNN senior director Brice Laine of his recent trip to Ethiopia. Looking down into the Erta Ale volcanic crater was, he says, "like witnessing the birth of Earth." Located in the Danakil Depression and known as "the gateway to hell" among local Afar people, it's the world's oldest active lava lake.