Friday, 8 April 2016

Akwaaba! Welcome!



Kwame Nkrumah Park Accra. Photo:by Agatha Fältström.
During our last visit to Africa, we took a spur-of-the-moment trip to Ghana. Normally we would look up a place before we embarked on a trip, but for Ghana we did not: we felt Ghana was one of the most organized countries in West Africa. 

It was the gateway to West Africa, as it was said, with a lot of tourists here and there. So we expected to get a map and a list of tourist attractions from the hotel or tourist center. We were so wrong!
 
The trip down was good but we encountered a little problem at the airport in filling  out some immigration forms: that took more time than we thought necessary and we missed our hotel pick up from the airport. We tried taking out money from the airport ATM and were shocked that the machine only accepted a Visa Card. Our Master Card was useless there. To get an ATM that accepted a Master Card, we had to walk outside the airport to one nearby that fortunately accepted both card types.

Dept of African Studies. University of Accra. Photo: by Agatha Fältström.
It took us sometime but we sorted ourselves out and found our way to the hotel. Coming to the hotel our stress and anger simply evaporated, for the hotel was so cozy and welcoming.

The next morning, with our cameras and ready to hit the town, we went to the hotel reception to ask for maps and a list of fun places we could visit, and the following dialogue ensue

Us: Good morning, please could we get a map of the city?

Hotel reception: Sorry, we don't have maps

Us: Okay. Could you tell us what to see or places to go to?

Hotel reception: You  will need to buy the book on Ghana attractions from the book shop

Can you beat that! The hotel reception cannot point us to any direction, just for us to buy a book not even at the hotel but at a bookstore. It dawned on us that we made a mistake not to have looked up Ghana’s tourist attractions before visiting. The little things we take for granted!

We went out to the street to ask questions, and we were on our way to different attractions in Ghana. I must admit Ghanaians are very warm and welcoming people.