If you are visiting Ghana or plan on visiting Ghana or live in Ghana and you have a thing for astronomy, then I will recommend the Ghana Planetarium Science Centre which is situated at Cantonments, Accra.
The Ghana Planetarium Science Centre which was opened on 22nd January 2009 was an outreach project by David Weinrich to help support astronomy educators in developing countries. This planetarium is managed by the delightful Dr. Jacob O. Ashong (PhD (Lond), MSc (Lond), MIBiol, CBiol, FRSTM&H.) and his wife Jane (BA Hons (Graphics), BA Hons (Educ. Psychol.), MBA (Leicester)).
Event: Kavli Fulldome Lecture Series
Topic: From the Big Bang to the Multiverse and beyond
Speakers: Dr. Michael Turner (Director of the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics)
Bruce V. (Professor at the University of Chicago)
Diana M. Rauner (Professor at the University of Chicago)
Date: 31st July 2016
Time: 3:45pm (lecture)
5:00pm to 6:00pm (conversations with Dr. Michael Turner in Space Visualization Lab)
We know the Universe began 13.7 billion years ago in an explosion of space called the big bang. We also know that the gravity of dark matter created the galaxies and other cosmic structures we see today from tiny quantum fluctuations that arose just after the big bang. Yet some big questions remain. Is our universe part of a larger multiverse? What is the cause of the speed up of expansion of the Universe? These are the mysteries that inspire cosmologists today. In a dazzling, full-dome presentation, this presentation will illustrate what we know and how we know it, as well as the big ideas and puzzles of cosmology today.
So if you are available this Sunday, then by all means you should pass by the Planetarium to learn more about our galaxy.
Contact details of the Ghana Planetarium Science Centre:
12 Osu Avenue Extension, Cantonments, Accra (on the road behind Christ The King Church & School and behind Police Flats).
I have been to all the regional capitals in Ghana except Sunyani and Takoradi. So over the Republic holiday, I planned a trip to Takoradi with friends. The trip was supposed to be with a larger group but due to some circumstances, only 6 people were able to make it.
We had planned on leaving Accra at 10:00am but were delayed and got stuck in traffic. This made the trip rather unpleasant; the several stops we made on the way did not help much. The journey seemed long and endless and by the time we got to Takoradi, we were all cranky and tired.
Checking in at Okatakyie Hotel was a relief after the 4 hour drive and the serene atmosphere at the hotel added to my joy. In my itinerary, we had an activity upon arrival but due to the unpleasant trip, we all ended up in our beds until we got hungry. The others were in the mood for some fufu and headed towards an amazing eatery recommended by Takoradi Guru Albert while Dee and I went to the Atlantic Hotel with John.
At the Atlantic hotel:
Well, they were right about the Atlantic hotel. It is indeed beautiful and great for vacationers who have more to spend. They however have nothing on the Royal Nick Hotel when it comes to the reception area. The Royal Nick Hotel’s reception is rather fancy.
We went down to the canoe bar and restaurant for food and drinks. The menu was packed but it somehow seemed empty since there were not many varieties. I settled for a mezze platter (hummus, salad, pita bread, lamb, beef and chicken) which was 35.00 Cedis. Dee settled for Quarter chicken and rice which was 45.00 Cedis. While we waited for our meals, we ordered nonalcoholic cocktails which were on point. Across the bar was live jazz music which blended beautifully with the serene atmosphere of the bar.
After a while, our meals arrived steamy hot. John and Dee were shocked by my choice of food and were hoping I would puke. I told them I had had this meal before and there was no chance that was going to happen. I delved into my hummus and immediately regretted my choice of food.
Advice to you all:
If you want to eat an indigenous food of a country, go to a restaurant owned by that group of people.
After dinner, we moved to the Paragon Bar & Grill where I was shocked to find out that they do not serve cocktails. However the waitress made me an amazing ice-cream and Baileys drink which was delicious.
So my first night in Takoradi was not bad afterall.
Togo is my little sanctuary where I go to unwind and leaving for Ghana always makes me very emotional. So on Monday which was my last day, I stayed in my room half of the morning thinking about the things awaiting me in Ghana. To be honest, I was not happy about it. I did not want to come back home. I have such freedom and liberty in Togo that I did not want it to end.
The morning of my last night
When I finally dragged myself out of bed, El had already made breakfast – oats with honey, fried eggs, tea, baguette with butter and jam. She works from and she was hoarding the living room so I had breakfast on the balcony which did not have a spectacular view. But still something to reflect on and that was what I did. After breakfast, I stayed in my room reading some poems on her kindle and slept a bit.
The afternoon of my last night
The last time I was in Togo, I wanted to visit the Grande Marché but most shops at the market do not open on Sundays so I was not able to visit. So during my four days in Lomé, I added it to my itinerary. I needed to get some traditional prints and souvenirs for some friends and family. I told Ellen about it and she suggested the secondhand market with was closer to us and much cheaper. I remember I visited that market in 2006 and well, I did not mind revisiting memories from the past.
I could not go with Ellen though because she had to work. I had to go to with Olivia, one of the most interesting people I met in Togo. I was excited to go with Livi but the problem was; I speak basic French and she speaks basic English so communication was going to fun as hell. I remember telling El that Livi and I will have to resort to sign language. The Airport City where we live is not far from the Market but the 600 CFA the Cab driver charged was a bit on the low for me.
The second hand market is like Ghanaian Makola Market and Cantamanto merged together but with more parking space. We all know how noisy markets are but this noise was pleasant in my ears – rawness of the Togolese French. There was a big building where traders were selling their goods. The market is really an easy place to get lost so Livi took my Togo number just in case we got lost. We spent about three hours there searching for the specific items I needed and in good quality. I bought so many items from the market and they were all new.
Unlike the Ghanaian market where you can try on clothes before buying, some traders in the market refused to let you try on clothes with were alright. We later went in search for the black soap I fell in love with from my last visit and also some sheabutter El needed. When we left the market, I had gotten many stuff yet spent so little. I said this to Livi and she told me that many people cannot afford these stuffs, they are too expensive.
And before I forget, Livi and I did not resort to sign language. We understood each other very well.
The evening of my last night
El gets out of work after 7:00 pm so we decided to have dinner afterwards. We were not in the mood to cook that evening so we decided to go get something and dine in. we however did not know what to eat. After some thoughts, we settled on some Lebanese dishes. El told me about Le Phenicien restaurant which was a 30 minute drive who makes very good Lebanese meals. So we called Ali who had been in Togo for a while and knew almost everyone there. He ordered for our meals and offered to drive us there.
Le Phenicien restaurant is beautiful – the lobby has a bakery, icecream parlour and sitting area. There is an inner room for dining. When we got there, the owner came to greet us and El passed a comment about how we will get served quickly because the owner knows Ali. And she was so right. Within 10 minutes, our food was in our hand and we were leaving the restaurant. Ali and I however feasted on some icecream and also got some croissant for breakfast the next day.
The ride back home was convincing Ali to join us for dinner which he did. We even got him to write a poem for the very first time and I must say, he is a natural. After Ali left at 10:30pm, El and I just sat there and talked about our dreams, desires, weaknesses and the fact that I should move to Togo.
That night in my bed, I told myself that maybe, I should move to Togo.
I fell in love first with the clean beaches of Lomé and my love gradually developed as I saw the rest of the country. On Saturday afternoon however, I was disappointed on how dirty the beaches were but that did not make me love the country any less. I had expected to get to Togo by noon but I got a little delayed and got there at 2pm. I went through the normal immigration headache and was such a relief when I got to Ellen’s apartment at Cité de l’Aéroport.
We had decided to go for lunch so we went to Le Patio which is behind the University of Lomé. This is the place where most dignitaries dine so I must say it’s pretty fancy. The place has the same theme as Villa Boutique Hotel in Ghana. All wooden furniture with African prints sofas and a swing close to the pool. I must say French people know good food and great service. We had pizza though we would have preferred something else. The kitchen had closed for lunch and was making dinner so all they could serve was pizza and fresh juice. After the meal, we sat underneath a cloth like tent until we were ready to leave.
Ellen and I met with Ali and Bishr later in the evening to have dinner at Le Philipat – a creative themed restaurant with soft music, photos, lanterns and butterfly paintings on the wall. The place was totally packed and after tasting their meal, I understood why. As I said French people know good food and great service. I requested for rose wine but I was given white and it was quickly changed. For entrée, I have a seafood salad and for dinner, I had fish fillet and mushroom sauce with rice. After dinner, we sat there to admire the place and talk for a while. The night was however too young so we decided to visit another place.
We arrived at a rooftop café called Beach Café. It looked simple from the outside and the stairway did not seem fancy so I was not prepared for what met me on the roof. It was magical! Felt like I had just stepped into Prince Charming’s ball. Well, if the ball had been on the beach, I suppose the Beach Café would have been it.
Wooden canopies and white flowing curtains give you that breezy Californian feel
Blue lighting and yellow lanterns set a beautiful contrast like ice and fire
Comfortable sofas and soft music which relaxes you
Spacious dance area for those who can move to the rhythm
Wonderful beach view since the Café is just opposite the Lomé Beach
While we sat at the bar, there were bikers practising on the streets for a pending race. This added more spice to the evening.
We went to La Villa which is so much like Firefly in Osu, Ghana. That place was made for dancing. In Ghana, I may be one of the worst dancers but in Togo (with Ellen, Ali and Bishr), I was the Dance Queen. But who can blame them? In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king. The DJ I must say knew how to work the beats. Every single song had a beat I could move to but what got me on fire was when Castro’s “Seiho Seiho” started playing. That was when I realized that no matter where you travel to, you’d always want a bit of home with you.
At 3:30 am, we were all in Ellen’s apartment having some hot tea and reliving the day’s event.
If you happen to be in Lomé for an overnight stay, I will suggest you visit these places which will not cost more than 30,000 cfa depending on your taste.
For all the birthday enthusiasts, I think you should consider Coco Lounge (the restaurant of lights) for your next birthday party. It will take a dent in your purse / wallet but trust me, the feeling is exceptional.
On my birthday this year, my boss had arranged a dinner at the restaurant of lights on the same day so she suggested we turn the dinner into a birthday celebration which was just fine by me. The birthday party was made up of Ms. Vivienne, Ms. Susan, Mr. Adamantios, Jessie and Konstantinos.
I had been to the restaurant the year before and knew how classy it is so I glammed up for the celebration. Upon arrival, we were showed to our table by the very friendly waiters. Service is totally on point at this place. The entire place was packed as usual and there was faint music and chatter everywhere. A waiter was assigned to us and he assisted us in selecting the best champagne and meals. I had vegetarian lasagna which was so delicious. I would have rather loved some burrito though but the Mexican dish is served only on Thursdays.
After the meal, that was when the surprise came – an amazing show for birthday celebrations. To know what this is all about, have your birthday party there. Trust me, it is mindblowing!!!! Watch the video here
There was a mix up in the cake though because I ordered a chocolate cake and I was given a vanilla. They however packaged my chocolate cake which was the heaviest cake I have ever held and it was made with real chocolate. Thinking about it will give me a chocogasm.
We later took the party upstairs to Urban Grill where we had some drinks and called it a night. We left the restaurant after midnight.