One of my goals this year was to go on a proper vacation within Nigeria.
Like, girl…live a little and have some fun.
While I was an international medical student, I had the opportunity to experience the culture and cuisine of a few other countries, and that opened up a whole new world for me.
Since my return, I’ve looked forward to experiencing the rich historical and diverse cultural heritage of my home country, Nigeria.
And somewhere on my mental bucket list, I plan to tour the length and breadth of Nigeria hopefully before I clock 60. So help me God.
One of the places I was hoping to visit this year, was the Erinjesha waterfall, a popular tourist site in Osun state.
Somehow life happened and going for that trip was no longer a priority. Still I craved some sort of vacation for this year.
So when HRH suggested that I come over to Abuja – primarily to visit his folks – I jumped at the idea.
Thankfully, I got a leave-of-absence from my workplace and had the opportunity to go on this trip, the highlights of which I’ll be sharing in a 3-part series.
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Abuja, is a beautiful city located right in the heart of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Nigeria.
According to Wikipedia.org, it is the eighth largest and one of the fastest growing cities in the world.
A city known for its ambience and class, Abuja is definitely a must-see for any first-time visitor to Nigeria.
5 Things You Should Know About Abuja:
1. Abuja is a well-planned city.
In the whole of Africa, Abuja is the only capital city that was built from ground up. Which means, the city didn’t just happen, it was engineered.
The Federal Government of Nigeria, relocated the capital city from Lagos to Abuja in 1991, because of its central location and the ability to attract people from most of the ethnic groups in Nigeria.
Most of the buildings and road networks in Abuja, were carefully planned from the onset which makes life easier in every way imaginable.
2. Abuja has a high cost of living.
Compared to other major cities across Nigeria, the standard of living in the heart of Abuja is quite expensive, from the cost of renting an apartment, to transportation to feeding.
No wonder it’s easily assumed that it’s only the rich who can afford to rich there.
Many low-income/middle-income earners prefer to stay around Abuja suburbs like Gwagalada, Nyanya and Kubwa.
3. Abuja is beautiful.
Dotted with many plazas, gardens, parks and skyscraper buildings, the city of Abuja is a real beauty that boasts of some of the best architectural designs in the country.
To the average Nigerian, Abuja city is like mini-abroad. Everywhere is fancy and sparkling.
4. Abuja is home to many cooperate organizations, religious bodies and government agencies.
As the capital city, most of national institutions, have their head offices located in Abuja.
There are also a few notable organizations like ECOWAS who have their headquarters in Abuja.
5. Abuja has a low-crime rate.
Abuja is said to be one of the safest cities in Nigeria, as the security measures around the city are generally more efficient.
If you’re looking for a serene environment to raise a family in Nigeria, Abuja is definitely a place to consider.
(Credits: connectnigeria.com, buzznigeria.com )
DAY 1: Trip to/Arrival in Abuja
Before my trip to Abuja, HRH and I discussed and made a well planned itinerary for the duration of my stay.
The initial plan was to travel by road (about 8 hours from Ibadan) but my mom would not have it. So she persuaded me to take a flight (and guess who paid for the fare?)
My flight was scheduled for 12:50 pm but for some reasons I did not get ready on time.
Thankfully with my brother as my designated chauffeur, I still got to the airport in time.
Although the last time I took a local flight was 2 years ago, I was able to check in without hassles.
My first irritation came as we were about to board.
A rude airport official grabbed the bottle of water I’d just purchased from a shop in the waiting area from me.
It made me really mad because there was an older woman also on the queue, who was holding a bottle of water and no one harassed her.
That incident really pissed me off for the rest of the trip.
And just as I was entering the aircraft, a strong odor from the restroom greeted me, it was really disgusting.
Arik Air can do better, please.
Because I scheduled my trip during the festive season (a Muslim celebration), it appeared everyone and their kinsmen were traveling, so the aircraft was filled up.
Many of the families had small kids, and there was an especially fussy toddler whose tantrums were partly entertaining and partly a nuisance for the duration of the trip.
Our flight took off around 1:13 pm and we had a stopover of approximately 20 minutes at the Ilorin.
We took off again some minutes after 2 pm and landed in Abuja just before 3 pm.
The rest of the trip was pleasant enough.
HRH was already at the airport awaiting my arrival and the first thing I did when I saw him was to rant about my ordeal during the trip.
You know na, some gists are best served hot.😉
Even as a returning visitor, I was still very impressed by the serene atmosphere I met on entering Abuja.
The trip from the Airport to my sister’s house lasted over an hour but was it was quite stress free.
On getting to her house, HRH dropped me off. After putting away away my luggage, I spent the rest of my evening unwinding and looking forward to many days of adventure ahead.
HRH: His Royal Highness. The Crown Prince of my heart.
Just so you know, this happened sometime in July. 😍🙈❤️
(To be continued)
PS: Unless otherwise indicated, all images are from the WEB.