Saturday, August 2, 2008

Fabric Shopping in Abeokuta and a Visit to Olumo Rock

Today a group of folks, either looking for fabric or looking to get out of Lagos, drove in a company van (with security) to Abeokuta. We were not sure how traffic would be as this is the first day that a section of the Third mainland Bridge, connecting Lagos Island to the mainland section of Lagos, was closed for repair. The bridge will be closed until the end of September (at least) and will wreak havoc on the morning commute for many of my coworkers. Anyway, bridge traffic was fine but the traffic on Ibadan Expressway was bad before the turnoff to Abeokuta. Once off the expressway, the ride to Abeokuta was smooth as the former president Obasabjo's home town was Abeokuta and he made sure his road home was a good one. The 50 mile trip took us about 2.5 hours and we were ready to shop for adire, tie and die, and batik fabric. I like burgundy and blue colors so that is mostly what I walked away with, although I did buy something red.
Susan in one of the fabric shops.

Kay shopping... imagine that!

Fabric from the recent Jankara / Balogun trip and this trip
After shopping for one hour, half of the group went to see Olomu Rock, one of Nigeria's biggest tourist attractions. Abeokuta, the name of the town, stands for "under the rock" in the Yoruba language. Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun state, is situated on the east bank of the Ogun River, around a group of rocky outcroppings that rise above the surrounding savanna. Olumo Rock is the highest of the rocky outcroppings and is a place where the Egba people took refuge during inter-tribal wars in the 19th Century. I was amazed to see there are elevators to got you to the top but we chose to take the stairs which then led to the hike up short ladders between and over the large rocks. Once at the top, the view over Abeokuta was terrific, with the rusted red roofs and the churches and mosques along the winding Osun River.

View from the parking lot... not just one elevator but two elevators to get to the top. Or you can take the stairs and some ladders to get up onto the top.

Mosque near the Ogun River
St. Peter's Church, the oldest church in Nigeria
Another church in the midst of the red tin roofs

The group standing on top of Olumo Rock. Chris was the photographer.

Front - Lisa (me), Namisa, Adebayo (guard), Sunday (guard), Back - Anthony, Bob

Tree growing out of the rocks

Our guide told us about the shrine, where the used to sacrifice strangers, but now they just sacrifice cows... lucky for us! Read more about Abeokuta on the Nigerian Field Society website or another blog posting I ran across.

Here are some other pics of life in Abeokuta.

Woman with baby buying beef

Woman carrying yams on her head


Angelica said...

Beautiful pictures. You seem to be having a great time.....but why did you have to travel with security?


Lisa said...

The company I work for requires that I have MOPOL (security) with me when I travel outside of Ikoyi and Victoria Island. I even have to have it to go to Jankara Market on Lagos Island. I think it makes me stick out more than I already do but if that is what the company requires, I will do it... otherwise they will send me home and I want to stay in Nigeria as long as I can.

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the blog.

tps360 said...

love em' cloths

adeola said...

thank you for posting that lovely pics on your blog. i worshipped every friday at the mosque near the river every friday before i travelled out. i love the pics. thanks once again

Nick Mollberg said...

Where is this fabric market? I'm on Ikoyi, is it within driving distance?

Lisa said...

the fabric market in Abeokuta is about 50 miles from Ikoyi and the drive took 2.5 hours but could be shorter (or longer) depending on traffic.
Check out the NIgerian Field Society adn become a member. At least once a year there is a trip there. Let me know if you have any questions. Lisa

Parag said...

As a holiday destination, not only you have to put the effort in to see and explore the attractions of Nigeria but also staying safe is a major concern. There are a lot of great beaches in Nigeria, major ones in the Capital Lagos that attract tourists from the neighboring countries and form Europe as well.
Lagos attractions

Anonymous said...

Hello Lisa,

I am thinking abour coming to Nigeria in order to find a distributor for our products.
Our main article is a pattern making system for hobby seamstresses.
You can see a demonstration of this system on:
Do you think there is a market for such a product in Nigeria and are ther many fabric- or sewingmachine stores where the system could be demonstrated.
Thank you for your time and congratulations on your blog.
Greetings from Germany,