3 days ago, after a 5 hour drive from the safari lodge, including an unscheduled stop for vehicle repairs - how very African! - and negotiating ticket totes, insistent porters and a torrential downpour to catch the ferry, we arrived at Zanzibar. (The ferry showed the movie The Life of Pi, which features a boat sinking. Boyf found this highly amusing.)
Stone Town, the main city of Zanzibar, is heritage listed by UNESCO. According to them:
The Stone Town of Zanzibar is a fine example of the Swahili coastal trading towns of East Africa. It retains its urban fabric and townscape virtually intact and contains many fine buildings that reflect its particular culture, which has brought together and homogenized disparate elements of the cultures of Africa, the Arab region, India, and Europe over more than a millennium.
It's pretty incredible, all winding alleys and old buildings, but really I'm not sure what I think of Stone Town. It's such a mix of 'Jambo. Come into my shop' and decay compared with beautiful details and moments.
I love this sign, painted on the side of a building.
It was lovely to see this city full of life, the alleys bustling with locals going about their business as well as tourists. Mike and I stumbled across a market street with shops selling towels, curtains, baby furniture, all sorts of goods. Startling to remember, here this is the equivalent a shopping centre. Such a different way of life, and this is a city.
Teen boys fishing off the fort/harbour wall.
The Palace Museum, formerly the Sultan's house.
Zanzibar is known for it's ornate doors. Certainly not on all buildings, but sometimes in the most surprising of places.
After a morning exploring, Boyf and I returned to our hotel for an afternoon swim. Pausing for a photo break on the stairs, that second flight is steep!
Built in 1557 in the Arab style (although there have been more recent expansions), the hotel was pretty amazing.
That's Boyf outside our room.
We headed back out in time for sunset, drinks on the beach and great Indian food for dinner.