We are in Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, we arrived last night from Milan and we have not yet completely overcome the thermal shock, but being warm during the winter months is definitely a pleasure.
This morning we woke up early, we had breakfast and then at 7.00am we have an appointment with our guide; he will travel with us for the duration of the trip.
We exchange a few words and he gives us a short briefing on the journey, but then every day he will tell us all the things we will visit; now it's better to go.
Our flight to Bouake is at 11.35am, so, before going to the airport, we have time to see something here in Abidjan, that we will also visit at the end of our trip.
We stopped to see Saint Paul Cathedral, a modern building designed by an Italian architect; its peculiarity is that, although the interior is very large, no pillars have been used to support the roof, that is instead supported by some steel cables.
Another feature of this church is that its shape should represent an elephant that drags the Ivorian people, but to see the elephant, honestly, it needs a bit of imagination, but it is ok.
The interior is very large and the fact of not having pillars makes the church seem even larger; on the sides there are two large windows: the one on the left depicts religious scenes, while the one on the right depicts the nature of the Ivory Coast; they are really very beautiful!
Today is Sunday and at 8.00am there is a Mass, so many churchgoers are entering, they seem happy to see us and greet us, especially women, with a solar "Bonjour!"; it makes us very happy, it means that they are happy to see us here in their country.
When we leave the church, before going on, we go outside to see if, from some other angle, the elephant is more evident, but actually it still needs a bit of imagination.
After visiting the church we return to our car and leave again, we head towards the lagoon and we go to a stop of the small boat that runs the service connecting one side of the lagoon and the other.
The city of Abidjan is in fact located between the Atlantic Ocean and an immense lagoon of partially brackish water; to go from one area of the city to the other there are bridges but also a passenger service that is reminiscent of the Venice vaporetto, even if the boats, as well as the lagoon, are larger and also have many seats.
After buying the tickets, that cost 200 CFA (West African Francs), we wait a few minutes in what should be the waiting room, but in reality it is a covered space without walls with, all around, some rudimentary benches of wood.
There is haze and Abidjan, although they say it is the Manhattan of Africa, does not have a particularly attractive skyline, but it is still nice to do this tour, moreover, with the movement of the boat, there seems to be some air and the humidity is felt less.
When we arrive on the other side of the lagoon we go down and our car is ready there waiting for us; now it's time to go to the airport.
Today we go to the domestic flight terminal and here the airport is much more "African" than the International flights terminal.
The domestic terminal is small and bare, there is a queue of people waiting to do the checks of the luggage, it takes a lot for us before being able to pass; then we check in and the girl makes a bit of mess with our passports, we did not understand why but in the end it seemed like a comedy and, both us and her, we laughed more than once.
After sending the suitcases and taking our boarding passes we go to the waiting room.
Here there is a small bar and we decide to have lunch because then today we will no longer have the chance to do it; even if it's a little early it does not matter, considering we had breakfast at dawn today.
At 11.35am we board our flight, we leave to Bouake!