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Zanzibar

Our trip to Zanzibar started with bad news. A day before our departure, we were disappointed to  learn that the Dreamliner (Boeing 787) we were looking forward to flying was, along with all of it’s like, grounded.

We were headed for Dar es Salam, in Tanzania. When we checked in at the Dubai airport, I found out for the first time that the country is not pronounced as I have always pronounced it TanzanKNEEa. No No. TAHnZAHNia.  It took some getting used to, but we had to fast because our flight out of Dar es Salam to Zanzibar was delayed for five hours. Nothing to do but drink beer!

 

A safari beer in Tanzania.

A safari beer in Tanzania.

Eventually we boarded an ATR puddle jumper. The puddle was a small part of the Indian Ocean. It was a very quick flight over some very blue water.  Zanzibar is surrounded by coral reefs, so it is quite photogenic, but I did not have the window seat, so you will just have to take my word for it.

ATRs such as this are used by numerous East African airlines.

ATRs such as this are used by numerous East African airlines.

Once we arrived in Stone Town we  were in an entire community designated as a World Heritage site.

The streets are almost all quite old and very narrow. Most hotels in Stone Town are not accessible by taxi, you have to walk you luggage in from a few blocks away.

The streets are almost all quite old and very narrow. Most hotels in Stone Town are not accessible by taxi, you have to walk you luggage in from a few blocks away.

However once we got to the hotel we were quite welcome

However once we got to the hotel we were quite welcome.

The hotel had a wonderful rooftop bar and restaurant with a view of the harbor.

The hotel had a wonderful rooftop bar and restaurant with a view of the harbor.

The bar also overlooked a very old Muslim cemetery. Zanzibar is over 90% Muslim because for over a hundred years it was ruled by the Sultan of Oman.

The bar also overlooked a very old Muslim cemetery. Zanzibar is over 90% Muslim because for over a hundred years it was ruled by the Sultan of Oman.

 

We then set out exploring the town. In Stone Town, that means getting lost!

 

We set out exploring Stone Town. We found some market streets such as this one.

We found some market streets such as this one.

We also meandered down many streets that were just residential and led nowhere!

We also meandered down many streets that were just residential and led nowhere!

 

A walk around the town will reveal many gems. Here is my wife in a wonderful little tea shop.

A walk around the town will reveal many gems. Here is my wife in a wonderful little tea shop.

 

After a few hours of  puposely getting lost in the amazing streets of Stone Town, it was time for another local brew

After a few hours of purposely getting lost in the amazing streets of Stone Town, it was time for another local brew.

The next day we set out again, there was still much to see. Before I visited Stone Town, I did not know the difference between Freddy Mercury and the planet Mercury. In case you don’t either, Freddy Mercury was born with the name Farrokh Bulsara, in Stone Town, and went on to become the lead singer for the rock band Queen. Fitting a guy from Stone Town would become famous for a song called We Will Rock You, eh?

Stone Town is quite proud of Freddy and they have a wonderful restaurant named after him.

Stone Town is quite proud of Freddy and they have a wonderful restaurant named after him.

The food is pretty good, but you pay for the view. This is the main drag of Stone Town

The food is pretty good, but you pay for the view. This is the main drag of Stone Town from our table.

The dark part of Stone Town history is that it was a major center for slave trading. Led in part by Dr. Stanley Livingston, the slave trade was abolished. There is a large Christian church built over the slave market. and a sort of museum is maintained so people do not forget.

This was a holding room for slaves before they went on the block for sale.

This was a holding room for slaves before they went on the block for sale.

Part of the museum commemorates the ugliness of the business.

Part of the museum commemorates the ugliness of the business.

This, the largest Christian Church on the island sits over the slave  market

This, the largest Christian Church on the island, sits over the slave market.

That covers our first 24 hours on the wonderful Island of Zanzibar. Next post…well come back and see!

For my long time readers, please comment on my new theme. Do you like it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Response so far.

  1. Thanks for bringing back great memories of Stone Town, and Mercury’s bar. I have an almost identical photo of the view! have you tried Kilimanjaro beer? It was my beer of choice when I lived in Dar es Salaam.

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