tanzania: zanzibar

and now for a summary of sights in zanzibar. i’ve been to beaches all over the world, and this one stands out for sure. click here to see the complete album.

November 11, 2007

Breakfast is served on the top floor and terrace of our hotel. The eggs in Tanzania have yokes so pale that you’d think they have no yokes at all. Skye thinks this is because the chickens are fed fish. The view at breakfast was beautiful. I felt the constant urge to pinch myself, Zanzibar is just that lovely! It’s actually a very romantic place, and it’s funny to be someplace so romantic with two platonic friends. Very cool, though.

Raph went scuba diving for the morning (I really should get certified to do the same sometime) while Skye and I visited the Anglican Cathedral that sits atop a former slave market. It was the last open slave market in Africa before the English purchased the land, tore down the market, and built this church. Skye and I arrived in the middle of the Holy Communion service. It was fun to listen to familiar tunes sung in Swahili language. We hummed along. After the service I got pics of the church, a cross made of wood from the tree Dr. Livingston’s heart was buried under in Zambia, and a slave memorial outside the church.

While eating lunch, we saw some guy wearing a shirt that said, “you looked better on myspace!” He was selling cashews. I doubt he knows what “myspace” is… really wish I had a picture!

After Raph returned from his dive, the three of us took one of those old-style “dhow” sailboats out to “Prison Island.” A prison was built on the island, which then was used to quarantine the sick, and now it’s just a run-down hotel with a beautiful tiny beach and lots of giant tortoises. Tortoises make really weird noises. We sailed back to Stone Town at sunset. Beautiful. Then cleaned up for dinner with typical Zanzibar seasoning at a restaurant on the water. Really, the trip was over the top.

November 10, 2007

After some tea and breakfast, Skye, Raph and I piled into Frank’s taxi (Frank is one of Skye’s favorite taxi drivers, so we call him to take us just about anywhere… he’s nice) and made our way to the airport. Dar Es Salaam is such an interesting mix of cultures. On the one hand, it seems much more cosmopolitan than anything I’ve seen since moving to Africa. On the other hand, you see Maasai men walking around with traditional clothes and spears… and cell phones.

At the airport, we boarded a little plane for a 15 minute flight over to Zanzibar. You can also take the ferry to Zanzibar, but it takes 3 hrs and is only $10 cheaper than flying (that’s only true if you have a “local” like Skye with you, though). The flight was beautiful! It was like being in a car with wings. We got some great pics. The water was so clear, I’m pretty sure I was able to see schools of fish from way up in the air!

Once we landed, we checked into our super cool hotel in Stone Town, with Arab influenced architecture and design everywhere. It reminded me of how much I like the Arabesque parts of Spain. Anyway, just beautiful. I had a yummy cold squid salad for lunch before taking a dip in the pool. I was enjoying a peaceful float all by myself till Raph and Skye did cannon balls on either side of me. I squealed. Like a girl.

Before sunset we went to the “Africa House” which used to be the English Club. It was so cool to watch the sun go down over the ocean behind old-style sail boats called “dhows.” I snapped sooo many pictures. Then we went to an Amore Mio for an Italian dinner, recommended by my Italian friend Erin! Again, yum.

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