Once the capital of the Dahomey kingdom – the ancient regime of today’s Benin that lasted from the mid-1600s to the French colonialization well two centuries later – Abomey invited us to Royal palaces of historic value and sacred significance as well as the very well kept archeological sites of the Parc Archeologique d’Agongointo.
For reasons not specified, some of us opted out of the visit to the King’s temple.
Besides century-old underground dwellings and remains of cultural interest, the archeological museum also offered escapism in the form of enchantingly green areas and …
Today we got up bright and early to head for Cotonou where the Beninoise celebrated their 54th Independence Day. To get a view of the elaborated military parade proved, however, to be more complicated than expected: festivities seemed never to take start and we had in either case an impenetrable crowd in front of us. After a breakfast picnic and a few hours waiting, we opted therefore for an endless, almost deserted beach that suited both moods and weather.
No one could certainly question our good intentions in getting ready for the parade …
… but the beach was just so much more tempting and enjoyable …
… and smiling Beninoise the children were, as always, ready to great us.
Benin’s enchanting market, laid out in seemingly endless lines along both sides of trafficked roads, offers an unimaginable variety not only of varyingly useful goods, but most importantly flamboyant colors, a melange of scents and human live.
The visit to Zoungbomey was unquestionably one of our most anticipated events, as the friendship and services of previous Gonzaga students and professors have left an enormous legacy behind in this village. The tropical weather did not hinder either warm exchanges nor soccer games or conversations with enormously gifted, expressive and welcoming children
Simple gifts for long-lasting friendships: some had spent hours making bracelets for our friends without probably realizing how much they would be appreciated.