A fort full of dwarfs

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White Fort William in Cape Coast on a hill surrounded by trees

One morning, we set out to explore the small city. It is hard to believe that Cape Coast was Ghana’s first capital, because besides the Cape Coast castle, the city itself offers very little – to both tourism, but also business wise. As we walk down the street, past the castle and into the township of the fishermen, I learn that in Cape Coast, you are either a Rastafarian or a fisherman. Later on, a young man from the city tells us that there is very little private businesses there. I do recall talks in the hotel with Egyptian men claiming they are having “fridge businesses in Cape Coast”. I still haven’t understood fully what “fridge business” means and wonder whether the young man on the street talks about those sorts of companies.

The churches (and the new library that people claim is not even open for anyone to enter) are literally the only buildings we pass that look renovated, clean and welcoming. Despite the old looking and partly broken buildings, the atmosphere in the city is a very warm and vibrant one. While walking up one of the roads, we see something like a fort not too far away, peaking through a small forest on a hill top. We decide to check whether one can go up there. Eventually we find ourselves on a very steep gravel road which I believe no car can master. And after literally climbing up the small mountain, we reach Fort William. A worn-through metal staircase leads up to the bottom section of the castle where canons are pointing out in all directions, the sea, the castle but also into the countryside. The view we have on the city, from the shore line deep into the forest, is amazing. And the view gets even better once we climb up all the way to the top of the fort. Fort William was built in the 1820s as lookout post and lighthouse. The view over the small city is truly stunning from up here. And then we spot a smaller, but very similar fort not too far away, on another hill top. The young man from the street, who is by now our personal guide, tells us that that fort over there is Fort Victoria. Fort Victoria is the 1821 reconstruction of Phipp’s Tower that was originally built in 1712. So basically a more historical place. The young man hesitates a bit and then tells us that no one goes there to look at it though. We ask why, and he tells us that it is because dwarfs have occupied the fort.

Later, back in our hotel, my traveling companion says “Dwarfs in a fort. My countrymen will never develop from where we are.”

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