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Benin: Cotonou

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Cotonou | Benin | Africa

[Visited: August 1988]

In a period in my life in which I visited Eastern Europe in its pre-1989 period, it was very interesting to see Benin. After all, at that time Benin was also a socialist country, adopting ideologies from the East. The interesting part for me was to see how an African country would incorporate these strange ideas - as it is sometimes interesting to see how for instance western beliefs are imported into these countries.

Picture of Cotonou (Benin): Marxist monument in Cotonou

Actually, for a visitor there was not so much shockingly different from other countries. Fortunately, mostly the African spirit and dynamism prevailed. But it was still a surprise to come across a monument in the most serious Marxist tradition somewhere in the dusty streets of Cotonou. As if transplanted from Eastern Europe, a statue with flags and proud soldiers and workers was prominently visible in the streets of Cotonou.

Picture of Cotonou (Benin): Village on stilts in Benin

At the same time a visit to a village on poles was very African indeed - people living like they also live in many other parts in this vibrant part of Africa. Just a short drive from Cotonou, the village of Ganvié was an obvious excursion. Here, huts and houses are built on poles in the adjoining lake, and the main means of transportation is in a canoe. People conveniently park their pirogue under their house in this town that is dubbed the Venice of Africa.

Picture of Cotonou (Benin): Ganvie village on stilts

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Cotonou (Benin). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Cotonou.
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