Friday, January 15, 2010
A typically colorful first day cover from KLM in 1960, although a bit dull (the woman with the basket on her head could easily represent any African destination) considering the significance of the Amsterdam-Accra flight. This route holds a particular importance for both countries: it can easily be forgotten that, although the Gold Coast was a British Crown Colony at independence in 1959, it was the Dutch that held the area for the longest period of time, and other than South Africa, Ghana is the closest to an African territory that the Netherlands ever had. The Dutch imprint is still with Ghana, most visibly at the high-end Golden Tulip hotel in the center of town (with another property in Kumasi) and the nearby Royal Netherlands Embassy, arguably the most gorgeous modern building in the country. The KLM flight also has particular importance in Ghana's gold exports; each KLM jet is reportedly loaded with bullion.