Dakar is an assault on the senses, it is life in the raw where goats tip toe across the roads amidst smoke belching congested traffic even in the most upmarket of neighborhoods, or a horse drawn cart will be cruising the road beside an expensive sports car. There are narrow streets jammed with jostling people clothed in vibrant colored clothing. People run in the late afternoons for the sheer fun of it, dressed in tattered shorts, without the need for Western "running gear". Open cooking fires sit on the side of the road with families gathered around, makeshift stalls clog the sidewalks and it is hot, dusty and bawdy. It is where £6.7m was spent to lengthen the skirt of the female in the controversial bronze statue "Le Renaissance Afriquaine" because it was considered to be offensive.
A jumble of villages, French colonial towns and blasting mbalax music, Dakar is the capital of Senegal, West Africa. It is a bit short on tourist sights as there is really only the Medina Quarter where you will find the Grande Mosque or the Musée Théodore Monod. It is nonetheless an amazing city where the local people are the attraction. It is the giggles, the constant chatter, the blasting Senegalese pop music and the riotous smells, noises and kaleidoscope of vibrant everyday life that bring Dakar alive.
When you want to escape the hassle and frenetic grungy pace, jump on a ferry and go to Ile de Gorée that is 30 minutes away where you can have some solitude walking around gorgeous streets with Colonial buildings, visit the House of Slaves, a reminder of the horrendous slave trade history, or chill out in one of the many waterfront restaurants.
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