Returning from Cape Coast last night, we recharged at our fancy apartments at Embassy Gardens, complete with a swimming pool, centrally locatded café restaurant, and gym.
It was at this point (and luckily at this point) where we found out the air conditioning in our car had suddenly died and had to rely on open windows. I mention luckily because we only had one day left on this road trip and it was going to be a short city tour of Accra anyway. Whew!
The next morning at 10:30am we began at the nearby W.E.B. DuBois Center, where the burial grounds of famed pan-African historian and civil rights activist W.E.B. DuBois and his second wife Shirley are located, we well as his home where he spent his final years. There is also a simple Bed and Breakfast on site.
This was his bedroom:
Next we drove to Black Star Square, aka Ghana’s Independence Square that sits next to its national stadium and Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park. Completed in 1961 ahead of Queen Elizabeth II’s first state visit to Ghana, this is the site for all of Ghana’s civic and military parades and similarly other national gatherings.
You can climb up to the top of the structure for 5 cedis per person:
The views from the top of the arch:
You can see Osu Castle by the coast if you look to the east:
Feel free to grab a flag up here and show your pride:
From the square we drove west to Jamestown and Usshertown, the oldest districts of Accra, Ghana, that populated and grew out of the two 17th century British owned James Fort and Dutch owned Ussher Fort. For 50 cedis a person you can go on a guided walking tour by one of its residents beginning at the lighthouse:
The two towns grew rapidly at the end of the 19th century into the 20th century.
The meat market here was one of the most intense I’ve ever seen on my travels (like the intensity I felt at Mogadishu’s fish market but with land animals)
The veggies fared better.
We were shown a place where enslaved people were hidden in an underground dungeon and tunnel that led to the James Fort’s own “Door of No Return.” It has now become a reservoir for fresh water after a rain storm. Jamestown’s past juxtaposed with the current hopeful image of teenagers playing in a basketball tournament, and wearing their own bright mint-colored personalized jerseys no less, suggest progress.
We then finished our tour after an entire loop around Jamestown that took about 30-45 minutes under the intense heat.
Finishing up we circled back to the recently renovated Kwame Nkrumah Memorial Park & Mausoleum, built in 1992 on the site of former British colonial polo grounds and the spot where Nkrumah made the declaration of Ghana’s independence. It is dedicated to Ghanaian President Kwame Nkrumah.
We snuck in for a quick look without having to pay the admission fee (nobody asked us) and rested up with the fantastic air conditioning here.
Then we returned to our favorite Vine Restaurant for brunch and back to Embassy Gardens for an afternoon break before our final dinner together with Vincent at +233 Jazz Bar & Grill for live music.
The dude in the background cover photo of the festival performed live and found out he knew Lauren’s dad from Seattle!
Goodbye Vincent! We’re going to really really miss you.
- At time of posting in Accra, it was 32 °C - Humidity: 74% | Wind Speed: 13km/hr | Cloud Cover: overcast and dreary, still hot