To appreciate the full scale of the mosque, we paid CFA 500 to stand on the rooftop of a nearby compound, where I could take some wonderful pictures
. For the next four hours we explored the streets, finding an area at the rear of town .. by the river .. where locals were fishing and the donkeys, horses
* and carts were gathered .. providing more splendid and unique views.
Our guide was well-chosen, introducing us to many families who allowed us to go upstairs for
more rooftop views, then offering us the opportunity to buy whatever crafts they were producing. At a leisurely pace, he led us through the maze of streets** .. where local life carried on as normal amidst the sweltering heat .. showing us ornate doors on some of the thick mud-walled buildings .. all of which had tiny windows to keep the sun and the dust at bay.
We did find a few small shops, selling so many genuine ancient bronzes that we were almost completely spoilt for choice. I say almost, but the fact that there were so many, so similar and so tourist-first-price expensive .. it rather gave us the feeling that perhaps they might not all be 100% genuine ! Some that we did see, in upstairs private rooms away from the main shops, would undoubtedly have been genuine. But they were so expensive and we were looking for beads, not bronzes .. each needing totally different expertise in their identification.