18.3.13

Senegal (3) - Saint Louis

After Dakar and its Goréé Island, there was time for a car ride – some 300 km (200 miles) – to Saint Louis, in the north-west corner of Senegal, close to the Mauritanian border. After struggling with heavy traffic jams leaving Dakar, the ride was very pleasant on a nicely paved road through a Sahel landscape, the more or less desertic band that separates Sahara from the savanna. At the end we approached the famous Faidherbe Bridge.



Saint Louis was established in 1659 by French traders. It was the capital of Senegal and later of French West Africa (present Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Fasso, Benin, Niger) until 1902, when Dakar took over. Slave trade was quite important until its early 19th century abolition. As on the Gorée Island, it had a community of Franco-African Creole or Métis community, including the so called “signares”, women entrepreneurs.

The original city was on the little island, separated from the mainland by the Faidherbe Bridge (from 1897 – recently rebuilt in its original shape). A second bridge leads to a narrow sand slip, the Langue de Barbarie.

The Island of Saint Louis has kept a lot of its original colonial architecture, more or less in good shape, with some old hotels and as everywhere in Senegal, a mixture of mosques, a cathedral… From the western side of the Island, you can watch the urbanized part of the Langue de Barbarie.





Once crossing the little bridge to the Langue de Barbarie, completely overcrowded and mainly dedicated to fishing industry, it’s amazing to watch the hundred of pirogues landing fish and the hundreds of trucks waiting to be loaded, fish being cleaned and smoked…. 



  


12 comments:

Thérèse said...

On se rend bien compte de la vie la-bas a travers ton reportage mais on ne peut s'empecher de penser que tes immages pourraient ne pas dater d'hier mais d'avant-hier. C'est tout du moins mon impression. Et peut-etre est-ce mieux ainsi.

ALAIN said...

Un mélange d'ancien et de moderne, des carrioles tirées par des chevaux et des habits traditionnels, mais aussi des pick up Toyota et des camions frigorifiques pour emporter le poisson débarqué des pirogues des pécheurs.

Robert said...

Un souvenir magnifique du Sénégal ou j'etais il y a 2 semaines pour le raid Teranga250.

Starman said...

There seems to be a lot of trash everywhere!

Jeanie said...

Well, at the risk of sounding stupid, it doesn't look like Paris -- at least any of the Paris tourists get. But it is beautiful in its own way. Those colorful buildings captivate me.

Virginia said...

I"m really sorry that I didn't beg to be included on this trip Peter! ( I'm sure you and Alain are so grateful I didn't! ) A country of so much diversity. I think my favorite photograph is the one with the laundry flapping in the breeze with the boats in the background. That said, they are all a superb collage of life here.

V

martinealison said...

Je ressens cette même émotion en admirant l'ensemble de vos superbes photos que lorsque je me trouvais là-bas...
La magie opère encore...
Un très joli reportage...
Gros bisous à vous.

M said...

Fascinating! The colors are so rich and intoxicating! Thank you for taking me with you :)

Studio at the Farm said...

Peter, I am loving your photos and commentary on Senegal. Thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

It reminds me of a place I love so

much...

Thank you, Peter.

Maria

claude said...

C'est magnifique de pouvoir faire un voyage au Sénégal sans bouger de chez soi.
Un peu maigrichons les dromadaires, non !
C'est une magnifique série et merci de nous en faire profiter.

Cezar and Léia said...

Excellent article, all pictures are beautiful!I imagine people there are very kind!The compositions with boats are awesome, great artwork!
Léia