After more than 3 months in West Africa I have found out where the people are the friendliest; in the Ivory Coast. Ever since we got off the train from Burkina Faso, people have been smiling and greeting from across streets and we were given free stuff purely out of generosity, with no other motive. I do not know if it has always been like this or if is just now, three weeks after a terror attack that killed 16 people on the beach of Grand Bassam.
When we got to our beach hotel in Grand Bassam it was like a ghost town. There were plenty of nice hotels, but absolutely no tourists that were staying there- it was just the two of us and then some local fishermen in the whole long stretching beach. A memorial of flowers marked the site of the attack which when visited made it all much more real what had happened.
After five days in jail for not carrying our passports in Burkina Faso it was good with some days at the beach doing absolutely nothing. Grand Bassam is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its historical old town built in French colonial style. Abidjan was a busy and modern city with the nickname “The Paris of Africa” and even though Grand Bassam was the exact opposite there was still a sign saying welcome to little Paris when we arrived there as well.
Apparently there are also supposed to be some pretty good surfing waves further West in the country and some cool stilt villages that I would have loved to see, but that will have to wait for next time.