Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Today's featured destination: Ghana

Bill Bliss shares the pix below (Flickr set Link) and says:

One thing you'll get a kick out of is that Ghana is the land of small business, and it's a very religious country. Put the two together and you'll see some very interesting business names. I'm enclosing a few pictures -- "Hands of God Engineering" (auto repair), and "God is King" fast food. There was another one that I wasn't able to get a photo of, unfortunately. It was "Blood of Christ Beauty Salon." My first thought was, gee, that just sounds messy!
I'm also enclosing a third photo that I made my traveling companion stop the car for. It's the "Ghana Atomic Energy Commission Veterinary Clinic." I thought it was the funniest name! Turns out there's an old Soviet-era research nuclear reactor nearby and that's just the name of the neighborhood, but all I could think was, "That's the place they take their mutant pets."

Also, about 30 minutes north of Accra, in a little town called Aburi, there are some interesting sights. The "Aburi Gardens" are an old botanical gardens formerly used by British officers during the colonial days. The gardens are pretty, but what was most interesting to me was an old Soviet-era helicopter carcass from the days when Ghana was in the Soviet sphere of influence, in the 70's). I climbed into it and had my picture taken. Also from that era were two trees planted when Nicolae Ceau┼čescu visited, one by him and one by the President of Ghana at the time. We rented mountain bikes in Aburi and rode through the "jungle." Our guide showed us a still in the jungle where they were distilling "palm wine" into a local gin. Later I bought some (undistilled) palm wine from a street vendor, it had just been made that day -- it's kind of like coconut milk-flavored sparkling wine, but sweet.

Just outside Aburi, on the road from Accra, Bob Marley's widow Rita has a recording studio. No one I asked knew why she moved to Ghana -- she's Jamaican -- but she's there now.


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