Saturday, 28 February 2009
Our guide book describes Ouidah as 'one of the most infamous names in the Atlantic slave trade that dragged millions of beaten and broken Africans to the new world...it is also the spiritual capital of the country with a thriving and lively Voodoo culture...'
So an interesting place to visit we thought...
The hours drive was sightseeing in itself, with many sellers of bread, fruit, mattresses or almost anything you could want (or not want in the case of the coffins) being sold from huts on the roadside. We wondered at the poles hanging bicycle tyres in strange fashions, whether they were voodoo related or whether just to attract custom from anyone passing in need of new tyres. We had less question about the person dressed up wearing a mask chanting some strange sounds that we passed as we drove home.
We travelled past a whole bunch of rather random statues dotted throughout the town and then went down the Slave Road, a sandy track leading to the Gate of No Return, near the waterfront. This was a high archway covered in murals depicting the journeys of the slaves, with some voodoo statues either side. Certainly interesting and worth a return visit to learn more from the Musee d'Histoire de Ouidah, located inside an old Portuguese Fort and see the Python Temple and other sights we missed.
Posted by thefarrells