Aburi and Hillbury

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If you are fed up with crowded and polluted Accra  city center, if you feel like breathing better and cooler not too far from the town, I really advise you to go to Aburi.

After you left Accra, you drive through the green hills for about 40 mn until you arrive in the centre of Aburi. The botanical garden in Aburi was started by the British and opened in March 1890.

The Botanical garden in ABURI

It is not expensive to enter with your car ( 2.5€ )and driving into it, there is a line of tall trees that makes you feel like you are in Beverly Hills :

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Then you can have a nice walk through Aburi Botanical Garden. Due to the altitude of Aburi, the climate is a really cooler than neighbouring Accra.

However, if you wanted to have a long walk it is not for you since it is quite small…

As you can see , you will discover the ficus tree which is so big that you can enter in its trunk!

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The ficus tree

There are more than 350 different plants species which are growing  in Aburi. There is a romantic lane, “Lovers Lane” where roses are growing, and an area with the “brown gold” of Ghana: cocoa.

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There are many huge termite mound too ! Just have a look !

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a termite mound

The botanical garden is a great place to relax and take “fresh” air, and watch to birds:

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If you want to look to huge majestic trees one after the other, and take a nap under trees in a cool temperature, then you will enjoy the place.

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Moreover, I advise you to plan a picnic with friends and children which can be perfect It will be a great place to let the kids run around without any fear : there is a “retired “helicopter which is perfect for them to play inside too.

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There are small eating places within the gardens too but it doesn’t seem like good ones. You should come with your own food or go and eat in Hillbury, a greatplace that I love.

Hillbury Hotel

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If you prefer going to the restaurant with your family or friends and rest to Hillbury resort, you will discover a  majestic hotel in the spectacular Akwapim mountain range.

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The views is amazing over the surrounding mountains and you an rest in the swimming pool in front of the evergreen valley of the majestic view.You will thenn feel better, escaping the crowded places, and most of all you will enjoy good  food.

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On the afternoon, you can also go to a farm not far from Aburi center where you can buy fruits and vegetable and see their pigs too!

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Then after all this, I am sure that you will come back to Accra with good energy 🙂

2 weeks holidays in France

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Being in France for two weeks

Time has come to have 2 weeks easter holidays in France !

Save the date : Marseille, Bordeaux, St Palais-sur-Mer and Paris !

By plane, train, taxi or buses , subway and feet 😮

 

 

Before leaving your host country for Holidays :

Holidays for expatriates are planned and checked by the company of your husband or boyfriend quite a long time before.

And it does not look like resting days !!

 

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Making everything ready to take off the D day.

Now that you have your plane ticket and you have chosen where to land, you have to organise the meetings for the two parents family and friends.
I started with my boyfriend family in Marseille, then my family and friends near Bordeaux and at last but not least all my friends in Paris.
For my friends, I used Facebook by posting the dates of the week I ll be in Paris to organise each several days with them ( lunch, shopping session, diner..) and manage to see everybody.

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Now that you have you schedule complete, you want to bring small presents from Ghana to family and best friends and also for birthday or 2 new baby birth.
I decided to go to the Art Market ” in Accra to find some little products in wood of roses ( small animals like elephants 😉

I have also been to Marina Mall, for cosmetic made in Ghana with shea butter cream or essential oil or tea tree :

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I bought some soaps and shea butter from the “all for nature ” shops

And the best presents I think are made by my friend Lova in Accra who buy her fabric in Ghana  and then can sew by hand all what you want  : I ordered her some typical things for birthday : pillow, bags, etc… She sells all products on a little market website : crea by lova

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Check all that you are missing in your host country which does not exist or is too expensive:
Part of the list : chocolate, french mustard, cheese, your favorite wine…

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You pack everything (quite nothing except presents since you still have clothes for winter/summer at home) and take two suitcases to come back with products.

D DAY at last!!

I m ready to jump into the first plane for 6 hours flight to Amsterdam and the second plane to Marseille and few days after ……

And after a while… I finally arrived HOME ! !

 

My parents house near Royan, in St Palais sur Mer!!
I had not seen them for 4 months.

The day after my arrival to my parents place ……..

WHAT do you think I did ?!?!??

I have been on early morning to a supermarket !!  Yes what you have just read is true : Super Market  !!
I wanted to buy the products I do not eat in Accra because there are not or they are too expensive: such as chocolate, cheese, french bread, good wines, yogourt, mustard, ice cream , oisters….

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At the payment desk, no plastic bag is given : now you need to have your own bag for food.
It is so good not to see all plastics on the ground everywhere you go… in Ghana, people do not care about it because I think that they are not aware of pollution and what is dangerous for the planet.

Then I could enjoy time here with friends and family :

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A walk next to the Atlantic ocean

A little of Ghana in Vaux sur Mer/ St Palais sur Mer :
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What a surprise I had while going to “la maison blanche” , a wonderful and beautiful place (to eat and drink and even dance at night ) in front of the beach of Nauzan and the sea :the Ghanaian flag red/yellow and green alnd instead the black stars there was the logo of the ” white house” .

I thought i was not seeing well but yes when I ask the waiter it is was effectively the director who love ghana and Bob Marley as well.

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Madina Market near Accra

Let’s go in Madina market

Madina is a market located outside Accra , about 30 mn drive.

Like Makola market in the center of Accra, you will find many colorful product as vegetable and fruits, but also fabrics, meat, fishes, tools, kitchen pot or pan…

Just ask an they will find out what you are looking for!!

 

I went their with my friend Lova, from Madagascar, and we wanted to find fabrics for her new colorful fabrics as she mix african with european cotton wax.

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As she sew professionaly,  she created her brand last year on “a little market”website.

You can see her beautiful work on “creabylova” “CREABYLOVA”  with cheap prices as she has just opened her “store few months  ago”

She makes anything you want and she send it to France and you receive it within 2 weeks

 

 

 

 

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In Ghana, they all use this old sewing machine  in markets or professionals at workshop.

You can order a skirt (if you have your fabric) for 20 GHC ( 5 €) with your own measures.

A dress for 40 GHC (10 €)

The fabric is more expensive but so good quality : 13€ for one yard (a skirt)

Discover the amazing sewing by hand and unique things created by Lova on “CreaByLova”:

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You can see under one of my african skirts on this picture :

You will also recognise (for my followers) Thomas, my driver, whom I visited him and family in his small village  outside Accra.

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After, we wanted to take vegetable because we prefer to buy to locals than in suprmarkets, even if prices is not very cheaper because the volume sold is not the same of course!

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There are also smells as fishes which are already dried and stay outside with no particulat conservation… I never tasted it but the smell is … well… strong!!

For more typical product there are : feet pigs… and which taste like potatoes.

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Beads so colorful are mostly already in necklace here, there is another market after Hillbury which sell only beads.