Early on a Sunday morning, before the sun rose, I was up and ready to explore. The following photo essay recounts my walk through Lomé, Togo.
Lomé Togo Photo Essay
Just outside my hotel was the Monument de l’Independance (Independence Monument), built to commemorate Togo’s independence from France in 1960. Speaking of independence, Togo is such an interesting country. Although French is widely spoken and the French colonial influence visible, Togo was a German colony from 1884 until the end of World War I when it was divided by Britain and France.
After World War II, British Togoland voted to join Gold Coast in what would become Ghana while French Togoland became an autonomous republic. Independence was declared in 1960 and bloodless (though a period of intense political instability followed).
My walk took me on a winding path down busy streets and side streets, though all was a quiet on Sunday a morning.
Eventually, I made my way to the busier heart of the city and found Lome Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church. A mass in the indigenous language had just concluded and a French mass was about to begin. I took a peak inside, but continued on my way. I’ve sat through services in French before and my French is sadly just not sufficient for me to draw much from any sermon or take part in any liturgy.
Interestingly, I noted several signs with a stylized image of communist founder Karl Marx and the words Guten Tag! (good day in German). The only thing I could find was that the billboard somehow represents a brasserie (brewery) in town.
After walking to the beach, I head headed back to the hotel. By this time, the streets had grown much busier. I noted that there were children sitting in the dirt in the street, some naked. There was no social distancing and no sanitation…even then I wondered what Lomé might look like if hit by COVID-19. Thus far, Togo has only reported 3,576 COVID-19 cases and 68 deaths. Thankfully, the country seems to have been spared, even if the numbers are greatly undercounted.
Lomé is not my favorite city in Africa but it was interesting to spend a morning walking around. I’m sure there are things that I missed and I would not mind spending another night or two here if I ever traveled via Lomé, a focus city for Ethiopian Airlines.
This story is part of my An African Adventure As The World Shut Down trip report.