Since I changed my plans short-notice, I made a booking for the Ibis on the east side of Abidjan, the capital of Côte d’Ivoire. On arrival at the airport, I saw a van driver with an Ibis west side sign. I asked him if someone was coming from the east side location or if I should take a taxi.
Turns out the east side location has been closed for MONTHS, and the west side spot would honor my reservation if I rode with him. After some more prodding, it sounded legit, so we gathered up the people he was there to pick up and were off.
We actually passed the east side Ibis, and it’s definitely boarded up. How did I make a reservation yesterday for a hotel that’s been closed for months? I sent them an email saying they should stop taking reservations, because I would’ve been super angry if I’d jumped in a taxi and showed up over there.
That being said, I liked Abidjan. The people were really friendly. Maybe I saw it with rose-colored glasses after Lomé, but it was a good city.
It was also unbelievably hot.
I needed passport photos for an upcoming destination, and this nice old man through a white sheet over a clothes line and took my photos. Ingenious.
I was also really excited that they have a Loving Hut. I went there multiple times.
On the first visit, I had this churrasco skillet and a Thai tea with milk. The owner got all excited that I’m vegan and have been to a bunch of loving huts, so he brought me this traditional tea ceremony. Really nice guy.
I saw the FIBA Africa headquarters on my way through the city, and the next day I ate at a local spot. People were shocked when I walked into that hole-in-the-wall café. The info I read for finding vegan options didn’t combine well with the 2 plate of the day choices, so I had some rice with onion sauce and fries. Meh.
I made my way up to St. Paul’s
and tried to visit a closed museum. Saw these cool guys, though.
The next day, I passed this monument on the way to the main mosque. Boy was I surprised when I entered the mosque through the door that was BEHIND the bride & groom during a wedding. AKA the entire wedding was facing the door I entered and saw me start to enter before running away. Oops.
Back at Loving Hut, I tried this vegan version of a traditional lunch of fried plantains & fried shrimp. It was delicious.
I spent some more time wandering aimlessly before heading up to the airport on the morning of 3 day. Overall, I liked Abidjan. Cool city.