Weekday’s Drive Home

DURING OUR LAST trip to Osu (link), driving home that Saturday noon was a breeze. It was a different scenario when we were there again on a working day (Tuesday, 29 April 2014). Travelling home on a journey that google gave as 10km/16 minutes, became an-hour long journey, with bumper to bumper traffic on some stretches, as we were caught in the after-office hours jam.

This is the cause of our long journey home… bumper to bumper crawl on most major roads... and yes, THIS single lane road IS a major road!

This is the cause of our long journey home… bumper to bumper crawl on most major roads… and yes, THIS single lane road IS a major road!

Scenes along our hour-long drive included this... locals caught up with a football match.

Scenes along our hour-long drive included this… locals caught up with a football match.

A hawker appeared to make brisk business off these spectators.

A hawker appeared to make brisk business off these spectators.

Need some cash... this place offers "Money Lending”.

Need some cash… this place offers “Money Lending”.

Not our typical 7-Eleven, but nonetheless, their convenience stores.

Not our typical 7-Eleven, but nonetheless, their convenience stores.

Little wooden stores along Kanda Highway, an area populated by the Muslim community.

Little wooden stores along Kanda Highway, an area populated by the Muslim community.

Getting used to seeing this now… peddlers plying the streets, selling wares off their heads.

Getting used to seeing this now… peddlers plying the streets, selling wares off their heads. 

They peddle from car to car at red traffic stop, but once the traffic light turns green, they systematically move out of the way. 

They peddle from car to car at red traffic stop, but once the traffic light turns green, they systematically move out of the way.

Food stalls by the roadside.

Food stalls by the roadside.

Ceremony at Flagstaff House, Accra

FLAGSTAFF HOUSE is Ghana’s Presidential Palace. Previously known as the Golden Jubilee House, it is both the office and residence of the President of Ghana.

The stool-shaped building (designed after the Asante Golden Stool) sits on a vast compound and stands out as one drives along Liberation Road. 

The stool-shaped building (designed after the Asante Golden Stool) sits on a vast compound and stands out as one drives along Liberation Road.

We were there on a clear sunny Friday, 25 April 2014. Arriving there, we were accorded the flag raising ceremony in the forecourt; we stood in attention and with pride as the national anthem of both countries were played.

As we were escorted into the building, we were greeted by traditional drummers and horn-blowers; then led into the Credentials Room where we met President John Mahama and state ministers, in the presence of the media.

A meeting that lasted 10 minutes and a ceremony completed within half an hour, it will remain a special and memorable day for years to come.

flagstaff_3

We often pass by the Flagstaff House on Liberation Road. 

We often pass by the Flagstaff House on Liberation Road.

And every time we drive by, we are fondly reminded of the April 25th occasion.

And every time we drive by, we are fondly reminded of the April 25th occasion.

(I’m also reminded of the other Flagstaff House that I’ve been to, the one in Hong Kong that houses the Museum of Tea Ware located within Hong Kong Park.)

First Look at Accra

THESE WERE TAKEN on our first driving tour in Accra city on a warm and clear Saturday, 19 April 2014.

The Independence Arch on Independence Square in Central Accra, erected in 1961 in honour of Queen Elizabeth's visit and to commemorate Ghana's independence in 1957 (same year as Malaysia); Ghana is the first African country to achieve independence from the British. 

The Independence Arch on Independence Square, erected in 1961 in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s visit and to commemorate Ghana’s independence in 1957 (same year as Malaysia); Ghana is the first African country to achieve independence from the British.

Ghana's National Stadium, located just next to the Independence Square.

Ghana’s National Stadium, located just next to the Independence Square.

Ghana flags fly high along Independence Square.

Ghana flags fly high along Independence Square, Marine Drive, Accra.

A vibrant and colourful sight on Oxford Street, Osu. Osu is a busy commercial district, likened to Malaysia's Bangsar for its shopping, restaurants and entertainment outlets.

A vibrant and colourful sight on Oxford Street, Osu. Osu is a busy commercial district, likened to Malaysia’s Bangsar for its shopping, restaurants and entertainment outlets.

A welcome sight - KFC in Osu - one of the four KFC outlets in Accra. Too bad there's no McD yet. Its alternative is Papaye (described as the McD of Ghana).

A welcome sight – Colonel Sanders in Osu – one of the four KFC outlets in Accra. Too bad there’s no McD yet. Its alternative is Papaye (described as the McD of Ghana).

Still in Osu… indoor shopping.

Still in Osu… indoor shopping.

…outdoor shopping.

… and outdoor shopping.