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Bevy & Dave's Travel Journal: Ghana

     Welcome to Bevy and Dave’s Travel Journal. On this journey we will visit some of the many fascinating points of interest in the magnificent land of Ghana, located on the second largest continent in the world, Africa!

Map of Ghana

 

    Ghana is part of West Africa’s Gold coast, neighboring Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east, Cote D’Ivoire to the west, and the Atlantic Ocean to the south.

 

 

 

Street Vendor Ghana     We started our voyage in Accra (ă ‘kra), the country’s capital and largest city. A busy and bustling place where there is never a lack of things to see, do, or purchase. If you are ever in need of anything you don’t even have to leave your car; the vendors cater to the busy lifestyle of those in the city and bring the store right to the curb side. And when I say anything, I mean anything, from simple toiletries to furniture, and even caskets can be purchased from the roadside. Just the other day we bought laundry detergent at one traffic light, maps at another, and water while still in motion (slowly driving, but still moving).
     While roadside shopping is great, we decided to stop at the Centre for National Culture, Greater Accra Region best known as the Arts Centre located in a neighborhood called Osu.
     A relatively large market place with more than a hundred vendors, the Arts Centre offers the work of local artisans, who craft their work by hand; beautiful and precise. The stalls are often operated by the creators themselves.

Adowa, Arts Centre Accra, Ghana     Meet Adowa, she is one of the many clothing/jewelry designers you’ll meet here. She makes everything you see in the photo with her sister and other family members.

     The selection of brightly colored fabric patterns drew me in, as well as her mild insistence. You will find yourself quite popular while perusing through the long halls, but remember it’s their job to sell and your job to say yes...or no. While making the hard choice not to buy everything, I was given a seat and was amazed at the organization and use of such a small space; it is much like the work you will find here, detailed and carefully thought out. As for prices, they are more than reasonable and the vendors are always willing to negotiate. When in Accra, the Arts Centre is a must-see.

     If open market places aren’t your thing or you just want to mix it up there are tons of individual shops and several different malls to choose from. We visited the Accra Mall and the Marina Mall set up much like you would expect with a variety of clothing stores, electronic stores, a food court, and even grocery stores.

     After a long day of enjoying shopping in Accra under the hot sun its time to eat. Food is everywhere and one of the places that became one of our favorites is Pat’s Vegetarian and Health Food Centre. The food is amazing! Offering a mouth-watering vegetarian take on local cuisine at truly affordable prices. The menu changes daily and on this day, they offered among other dishes, a delectable brown rice and stew. They even make fresh juices like the baobab juice, which we had never tried before, simply delicious; perfectly sweet. The little ones could not get enough.

     If you want to try Pat’s, here’s a local tip, let your driver know it’s behind the Land Commission office opposite the El Wak Stadium. Our drivers always pulled into the wrong car park despite the map directions. The longer you’re here the more you’ll find your bearings.

     While Ghana is known for its scrumptious meat dishes, if you are plant based do not despair, there is a long list of vegetarian restaurants to choose from. In addition to Pat's we also checked out, Green Eats, whose menu boasts salads, wraps and sandwiches. Another favorite is Tatale Vegan Restaurant, owned by local International chef and Restaurateur, Ben Asamani. Named after a popular Ghanaian dish Ben ate as a kid, Tatale’s menu is a reflection of his passion for cooking vegan food. His eyes gleamed as he spoke about becoming vegan at 15 ½ and sang us the song about the tatale dish that told the children it was time to eat. Such a warm host. Here we tried the popular West African dish fufu and a delicious black bean fritter served with a spicy sauce, yum. Ben also owns 222 Vegan Cuisine in London, UK.

     Look for the next installment of Bevy and Dave’s Travel Journal: Ghana soon. We’ll be venturing outside of Accra to Kankum National Park and Cape Coast.