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Yesterday evening we arrived in Abijan and today we explored this city, the largest and most modern place we've visited so far in West Africa. Snazzy towers rise over a centrally located lagoon, cars speed down well-paved streets, bright neon signs shine overhead, and if you don't look too closely you might think you're in a Western city. But Abijan has a terrible reputation for crime, reportedly the second most dangerous city in West Africa (behind Lagos, Nigeria). Outside the ultra-modern business district live the beggars and the dispossessed. Most are immigrants from rural Africa. Despite Abijan's bad reputation, we enjoy walking its lively streets and shopping in a mall filled with merchandise we haven't seen for awhile - electronics and new fashionable clothes. Had we come straight from the United States, Abijan's charm may have been lost on our eyes, but after weeks of bush camping we feel it is a pearl of civilization.
Probably Abijan's most famous site, the church of St. Paul, built in his shape. The spires rise in the form of a man with outstretched arms. People enter from under his robes.
This must be the only Christian church will elephants depicted in stained glass.
View of Ebrie lagoon from St. Pauls right hand.
True to our style we stayed downmarket in Abijan. You wouldn't dream of stopping here.