After taking off a bit late, I still arrived in Lagos on time. I had applied for Visa on Arrival, because Nigeria requires going in person for an interview for the visa application for US citizens. However, if you can get someone to sponsor you, you can get approved for Visa on Arrival, and this was well known by the airlines and super straightforward at the airport.
After dodging the customs officers asking me for bribes, I was out and got a ride to my hotel, checked in, and was famished. I got a taxi to Veggie Victory, which is a food stall inside Freedom Park. Before we could get in, some drunk dude with an AK-47 decided to stop our car and ask if I was being kidnapped by the driver or really wanted to be there. That was…odd.
There was an arts & music festival going on, so I got free entertainment while eating.
I asked the staff to just recommend something awesome and typically Nigerian from the menu, and some people in the crowd came over to ask me how in the world I wound up with this meal. They were super pumped to see some white guy trying their traditional foods. I wasn’t just trying it, I was loving it!
I caught a taxi back to the Lagos Island area and was told it was super safe to walk around at night, because “no one messes with white people. We don’t want to lose the tourism dollars.” I walked around, noticed that it was already Christmas time at some shops, and then walked back to my hotel when I was exhausted.
Also, let’s talk about how strange this hotel layout is with mini units of 4 rooms per floor in 2-story block buildings.
Anywho, I was up early and out the door to explore the main parts of Lagos.
I tried to go to the national museum, but it wasn’t open yet, so I started walking and came across the national stadium, where they have everything from Olympics qualifications to national soccer team games.
Next, I came across the Centre for Black & African Arts & Civilization and then this cool crest on a gate to some unknown building.
Stumbled upon the local CSI people next.
More wandering led me to the Cathedral Church of Christ, some important information, and a beach that was recently taken over by industry.
I only had 2 days for Lagos, so I cut it pretty close, staying out exploring the city past the time I probably should’ve left for the airport. We took some cool bridges over parts of the Lagos Lagoon on the way to the airport.
At the airport, I was lucky that there was no line for check-in and minimal line at security. I had been warned these could be bad, so pushing my luck to walk around longer had been OK.
It turns out I had more time than I wanted, because my plane was delayed. It hadn’t even arrived from the previous city when our time for takeoff had already passed, so I poked around and found some odd spots in the airport.
I need to see some countryside of Nigeria. I’m really intrigued.This entry was posted in Nigeria