Cape Coast Castle – Ghana

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About the Castle: Cape Coast Castle is one of Ghana’s Slave Castle which was built on the Gold Coast by Swedes for trade of Timber and Gold with a church also built within the castle. The Castle was then later used for the slave trade. For those who don’t know how slave castles were used, they were used for keeping African Slaves locked away after they were captured and held there until sold to the Americans. Some slaves were held there until death if they were not sold. The castle also had a Cell for the Slaves who fought or tried to escape.The female and male slaves were divided into separate dungeons as you will see from my pictures below. Each dungeon was dark, cold and with no lights, toilets or bed to sleep on. They had to sleep and go to the bathroom in the same area so you could imagine the torture they gone through. Slavery was and is one of the many horrible acts of cruelty by human beings. I started learning and reading about slavery from a very young age but when you enter one of the slave castles everything you read about or learned about then feels more real when you see where these poor souls were held and even died. The castle definitely had a cold hunted feel and as you are walking around and feeling and seeing how dark and cold the dungeons are you start to feel more emotional and realise just how horrific it really would have been for these innocent people. People say slavery is a thing of the past and should be left there, but for me, i like to educated people or tell people the stories of slavery and let it never be forgotten because although slavery was abolished i feel the innocent souls who died and were enslaved should never be forgotten and we should remember how lucky we were and still are…to not have faced the same thing they did.

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On my third day in Ghana i reached Cape Coast and of course it was a must to visit Cape Coast Castle not only because i am a huge fan of history but also because it is a beautiful castle despite the deep dark history that lies here.

I took a bus that dropped me off some minuets away from the castle so my sister and i walked to the castle and saw some lovely sights along the way. Below is a picture of the beautiful church just outside of the castle.

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We also met some lovely people outside of the castle including a girl carrying water on her head who was interested to know what brought us to Ghana. She also insisted that my sister carried her bucket on her head which was quiet funny to see my sister carrying something with her head haha

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The Front of the Castle

As we entered the castle there is a shop/market area where you can buy souvineers and different types of things including clothing. I Bought a beautiful Kente dress from one of the shops. We then reached the counter where you will pay for your ticket and also pay to take your camera in with you. 1 camera per group or person if you are alone.

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We were then joined with a group of other tourists and guided around the castle with a tour guide who tells everyone the story of the castle and what happened in each room of the castle etc. I took some videos while in the castle while the tour guide was telling the stories of the castle. I will upload them to my blog later for people to see.

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The picture above of cannon balls is what were used when intruders tried to intrude the castle or take over the gold coast. The cannon balls were shot at their ships to bring them down and stop them from entering.

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As i mentioned before, the Cells were used to keep what they called “stubborn Slaves”. Slaves who fought to free themselves or to free their wife’s/children. They were locked inside this cell as punishment as if they were not being punished enough! the cell was extremely small and dark.

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My sister and I inside the castle

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The Female Slave Dungeon – The dent in the middle of the ground was their “toilet” – in the same area they would sleep. All human wastage would flow down this area out into the Ocean. Leaving the innocent souls to either die through sickness, Disease or malnutrition if they were not shipped out and sold before then. The lights in the dungeon was only later installed when slavery was abolished – For tourism.

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View from the top floor of the castle.

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The Door of no return – The door that led the slaves to the ships where they were then transported to the Americans.

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The Door of Return

The Door of no return was of course because they would never return to Africa, but later the other side of the door was named “The door of return” apparently it was for those lucky enough to return – I’m not 100% sure if this is correct i am just speaking based on the information given by the tour guide.

As you can see, Cape Coast Castle is just one of many slave castles and is a huge tourist attraction in Ghana. I definitely recommend that everyone who visits Ghana should stop by Cape Coast and visit on of Africa’s many slave castles. You will leave feeling emotionally attached to Africa if you are not already. Don’t forget to show your respect when visiting and take a moment to remember the lost innocent souls not only of Ghana but of all those who died and suffered during the slave trade!

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Life in the village (Achiase, Ghana)

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This post may seem a bit random but after returning from Africa it got me thinking about where exactly i want to settle in Africa. Not “which Country” but which type of place in that country. In the City or in the Village?

I have always and will always be a fan of villages and always wanted to experience life in one, But after returning from Ghana i think i am now 100% sure i want to settle in a village. I experienced life in many different parts of Ghana like Accra, Cape Coast, Kumasi, koforidua Akim Oda etc and got a feel of how different life is in each part. Yes there is a lot of similar things in all of the regions, like Hawkers or types of food etc BUT standers of living is defiantly a little different in each region.

For Example, In Accra, it is more what i would call “modern” which is more for people who like the modern way of life, i am not saying there is anything wrong with that but for me, it doesn’t suit me well. Now, as for places like Kumasi, It is also kind of “modern” but VERY busy and a lot of things going on so it sometimes seemed way to crowded and busy for me. some may love it like that but i’m not so much a “city” girl.

Now, on the other hand, When i arrived in the village “Achiase” i felt perfectly at home. I grew to learn more about my self in Ghana than i expected. I learned that even though life in the village isn’t as easy going as the city life, I still preferred it to the cities of Ghana. I knew when i got to the village that it was exactly what i had been waiting to experience. Nice peaceful lovely villages. The power in Achiase village was not always on and the water does not run so its “bucket baths” and no power on most days hehe which was all part of the experience and i would happily trade my life in the UK to go back and live like i did in the village.

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Taking a stroll in the village

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Cute Ducklings walking around in the village with their mum 🙂

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Lovely Friendly people letting us shelter inside their shop until the rain stopped 🙂

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The Market in Achiase Village 

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My sister and i in the village with the kids who lived opposite us.

Something i also enjoyed in the village was how fast the locals get to know you and become almost like your friends. With in just a few days of visiting the village markets and shops, the locals already remembered who i was. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming in Ghana and if you are looking for a nice peaceful place to go, then the villages are perfect. I also felt extremely safe and comfortable walking around the village by my self. It is so lovely taking strolls along the village without all the rummage of the city around. I also loved at night in the village just looking up at the stars in the sky, which by the way, look so beautiful and clear in Africa WOW! it was amazing to see. Including the fire flies at night too!

I am planning to Return to Ghana this year and will be out their for one year and i am very much looking forward to getting back to the villages. My advice to people who judge villages based on the lack of resources is, Try it before you knock it! Villages are not what people judge them to be, They are lovely peaceful friendly places to be and don’t forget, you are not in a box with nothing surrounding you. You can always take a drive into town if you need something that you cant already get in your village. Or you can always find work out side your village if it is work you are worried about.

I cannot wait to get back to Africa and experience life in the village for longer this time.

Thanks for reading and thanks SOOO much for all the views and lovely comments so far. i’M really overwhelmed ! 🙂