Grand Bassam and Abidjan
Abidjan Travel Blog› entry 24 of 26 › view all entries
May 30th, 2010 – by: hauteboy
Hotel: Ibis Plateau, Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire
We had nearly two full days to spend in Abidjan and wondered what to do. Originally we had planned on going out to Grand Bassam, the old French colonial capital but after yesterday didn't want to mess with any more checkpoints! It was Sunday though so hopefully the guards wouldn't be out today. We had breakfast at the hotel, at 10 EUR a little pricey but they had excellent chocolate croissants, omelettes and yogurt.
The bus ride (400 CFA) out to Bassam only took about 45 minutes, no checkpoints. All along the route there were all these beach shacks and bars surrounded by coconut palms, normally I thought they would be busy on the weekend with people getting out of town. Just west of Bassam, there was row after row of artisans stalls selling woodcarvings, furniture, paintings, etc. We planned on coming back here on our way out of town to look for some masks.
We walked the 2kms or so across the bridge to Ancien Bassam, the old French capital of Cote d'Ivoire built out on a strip of sand. The capital had been abandoned after an outbreak of yellow fever.. the colonial buildings left to rot. Some are still in good condition and had been maintained, but most were still a wreck, missing roofs, walls and doors. Still very scenic though. We had a couple of 'friends' follow us for awhile offering to guide us, but we had a map and the area really isn't very big, only 2-3 blocks wide. The buildings reminded us of French Guiana but they were in much worse shape here even though they were newer.
After wandering around for an hour or so, we caught a cab out to the artisans stalls.
We wander around a few more stalls, the quality is very good before waving down a passing shared taxi headed back to Abidjan.
After lunch, back to the hotel and we start wandering around Le Plateau. The central business district is totally dead on Sunday.. we're walking down the middle of the road with no traffic and few people. The main cathedral is just a few blocks away from our hotel.
The Super Hyat supermarket was open, turned out it was attached to a mini-mall that was very popular with expats. We saw lots of families and teenagers here, many
French and a surprising number of Lebanese. This seems to be the place to go on Sundays! There was a Steers and Debonairs burger/pizza place here, we had burgers for dinner. After three weeks of travelling we were craving fast food, and actually the burgers were very good! There was also an Internet cafe in the mall, we spent awhile here catching up before heading back to our hotel.
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