Saturday, 31 December 2011

Exploring Accra...

Candace and I went out to Accra, the capital city of Ghana, this past Thursday (29th December). I had wanted to do some exploring in the area for a while, and so we left the ship on Thursday morning with a rough idea of where we were going - but no concrete plans.

We drove out along the Beach Road - which runs from Tema to Accra - and it was along this stretch of road that we made our first stop. We came across the coffin showroom that was showcased in Season 17 of The Amazing Race. The competitors in the CBS reality TV series had to push decorated coffins through the streets of Accra as one of their challenges in the Ghanaian capital. It was amazing to see the actual coffins that I'd seen on TV - and more so because they are carved in shapes to commemorate the person's lifestyle: lobsters, trucks, fish, cameras, etc.

From there we drove on into downtown Accra and through the city centre to the poorer - but culturally and historically rich - neighbourhood of Jamestown, on the coast. Here we explored the magnificent, operational lighthouse, and the fishing village. We were given a guided tour of the community and saw the beautiful fishing canoes and met some local children. In contrast to the beauty and vibrancy of the community, we also saw the darker places where in times gone by slaves were loaded onto ships and sailed across the sea. We walked past the Jamestown fort and saw the remaining tracks where carriages transported slaves to the sea, a fading memory of a turbulent past.

We then headed into Accra and stopped at the Post Office and also did some street shopping, before heading back to Tema via the Mall. It was a good day out that gave me a greater appreciation of the historical significance of Ghana - and how proud the locals are of their rich and diverse history.

The coffin showroom along the Beach Road.

Lobster design coffin.

Small fish - sadly, for a child.

Club Beer and Coca-Cola bottles.

The monument to Ghana's Independence.

Jamestown lighthouse, Accra.

Looking down from the lighthouse to Jamestown Fort.

The fishing village from the lighthouse.

The lamp in the lighthouse.

Candace and I at the top.

Looking up inside the lighthouse's winding stairs.

Canoes in the fishing village.

Another view of the Jamestown fishing village.

The door of the Jamestown fort.

Tema-bound, passing the Accra Mall.

1 comment:

Clinica Virtual said...

Hey! My name is Ian, I'm from Costa Rica. I've been following your blog since two weeks ago, I just want to tell you that it's awesome what you to sharing your experience with the whole world trough a blog. I hope M/V Africa Mercy keep saving the world. Greetings from the other side of the world.