The first time I visited Calabar was 9 years ago when I had just finished secondary school.
I had finished my WAEC(O levels) and felt as free as a bird. For the first time in forever, I didn’t have to think of assignments, deadlines or exams. I was done! There was a certain air that came with finishing secondary school in those days.
Those were the times when if like me, you were pretty much sheltered, you began to feel like a “big girl.” Without even giving it a thought I extended my curfew and there was nothing anyone could say about it. They wanted me to study and graduate right? Well I did, and I was finally free, or so I thought.
So yeah, the first time I visited Calabar was the months inbetween my graduation and waiting for my results. I have an aunt who lives there, so I and my cousin took a road trip which saw us drive from Lagos to Warri, then Port Harcourt and finally Calabar. We had relatives in all those cities, so we spent several days in each. I tell you those were the days!
Anyway, let’s get back to the present. I was in Nigeria at the end of 2015, and decided to revisit the city to attend the annual Calabar carnival that is so much talked about. Check out my post of it here. And of course, it gave me the opportunity to visit my aunt again.
Seeing Calabar with a more enlightened and experienced view of the world was great. I was no longer a child happy to be free, but a seasoned traveller in search of a great experience.
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and would really love to return in the future if given the opportunity.
On first glance, it’s obvious that Calabar and Lagos vibe in different ways. Clearly, Calabar is devoid of the hustle and bustle that Lagos is known, and loved for. Don’t get me wrong, I love big cities, but the charm of Calabar is endearing. It’s also good that once in a while, one can chill and enjoy life at a different pace. In addition to this, Calabar is cleaner, and more structured than Lagos. Who likes bad roads and meagre basic facilities eh?
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, if you ever find yourself in Nigeria, then Calabar is a wonderful tourist destination. With places like the Marina, Tinapa, Obudu Cattle Ranch, and others on offer, there’s way more than high streets, malls and strip clubs on show. Calabar would give you a true cultural experience.
Unfortunately, my visit was brief, so I didn’t get to do much as my time was organised around the carnival, still, check out what I got up to below:
Around the Marina.
I jumped on a cruise boat from the Marina to an island where I and my friends were almost forgotten!
Ready for the carnival in my comfortable outfit.
Mary Slessor roundabout. She was a Scottish missionary responsible for stopping the killing of twins in the town.
I hope you enjoyed the sites of Calabar. Drop a comment 🙂