Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Ghosts of Columbus Day Past in Kisantu

A few years ago when I lived in the DRC (Democratic Republic of Congo) I got to go on a trip to the Kisantu Botanical Gardens a few hours outside of town.  The trip was set up to take advantage of the Columbus Day Holiday.  So yesterday on Columbus Day this year I was reminded of this trip and thought I would share some of my photos.

Here is a map of the DRC and how this park is part of their Institute for Conservation of Nature.

Here was the very still Crocodile that I thought was fake until he blinked. 

The African "walking tree."

The gardens were nice especially for Africa but gardens aren't really my thing.   It worked out that we were able to stop at the Cathedral built by the Belgians many years ago and stumbled upon one of the most beautiful places I have ever been that was very well hidden.

Here is the outside of the Cathedral with the angry rain clouds hovering above.  The story of how we were able to go inside and take a look is because one of the members in our party gave some of the workmen some cigarettes and then bam we had instant access even though they were in the middle of reconstruction work.

This is a statue outside, it made me sad that the cross is broken...

Here is the restoration job where you can see the workers perched in their jumpsuits literally working without a net.

I love all of the detailed brick work and was really amazed to see something this detailed and beautiful in the middle of nowhere.

All of the statues were placed near the altar below in various states of disrepair.  I think that with the blurred images the statues look as if they are coming to life.

Here is a detail of the statues.  Note the missing arm on the angel on the right.

And there are a lot of cobwebs and a missing hand on the statue on the right again below.

Here is a view of one of the many roadside vegetable stands on the way from Kinshasa to Kisantu.  Skol is one of the local brands of beer bottled in Congo and there is the ad located behind the vegetables.

Happy belated Columbus Day!

1 comment:

  1. oh my the crocodile gives me the creeps! Thanks for sharing your photos :)