A frantic visit,
Insight into Cotonou,
I spent one day in Benin, in 2012, though it should have been 2 days really. I had travelled by road from Togo, and on the first time of trying to enter Benin, I realised at the border that I should have obtained a visa in Lomé and not tried to get a visa on arrival (which didn't exist). That was very foolish of me. Thankfully, I got a visa back in Lomé fairly quickly, and made it to Cotonou eventually.
After a long drive and an early start, I was pretty tired by the time I reached Cotonou, so I'm pretty sure that I rented a room in a hotel because I was so desperate for a nap. I then strolled around the streets of one of the more upmarket neighbourhoods of Cotonou, which I thought were thoroughly pleasant. There is something about Francophone African countries that makes them a little bit similar to each other, and a little bit different to Anglophone countries. I can't quite put my finger on it - but whatever it was, Benin has it.
I then enjoyed a couple of beers in one of the main central squares of the city, just people-watching and embracing the hustle and bustle of the lively city, before heading to the airport to make it home for Christmas 2012.