Saturday, 30 May 2015

The two day trip to Senegal (Day 2 morning) - Dakar - The Mamelles Lighthouse and the African Renaissance Monument - The 24th of May 2015

Following a rather tasty breakfast at the Hotel I left Gorée island on the first ferry going across to Dakar and as I stood by the harbour waiting to board I felt that I'd miss that quiet atmosphere. Despite the historic events attached to the island I had found the people on it to be cheerful, peaceful and welcoming, not that the city dwellers weren't equally nice but the approach was definitely different.

Aly was waiting for me on the way out of Dakar harbour once I'd join a Scottish guest and make the Dakar city discovery tour before heading to the Rose Lake.
Not too far from the harbour I sighted a rather interesting building said to be the former train station constructed in  1885 in colonial style, which is no longer operative.

After having picked up Layla, a physician who had flown in from the USA to be at a meeting, we headed to the 1864 Lighthouse of Mamelles, located on the westernmost point of the Volcanic Hill bearing the same name. We could actually see the next Monument we would be visiting from its belvedere.

As we reached the base of the rather impressive 52 metre high African Renaissance Monument said to have been made by a North Korean Society a huge crowd had taken over the space right in front of the numerous flights of stairs that led up and was exercising some gym moves. We soon realised what it was about as we read the sign on the stage set up for the occasion (Marcher pour la vie project). What mostly surprised Layla and I was how they could be exercising under such heat.

The sculpture was not only meaningful but particularly well done. I couldn't help photographing it from all possible sides and if none of us risked going up to the top restaurant is because we had quite an overcharged morning.

Some commemorative plaques provided additional information and to add to them the rather special messages addressed to the Senegalese youth and the visitors.

From its belvedere we could see the volcanic hill we had just been at and still the crowd actively moving in an almost unstoppable way.

As we were to get in the car to further continue our visit of Dakar a bright coloured mural caught my attention.

(To be continued)


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