Stone Town, Zanzibar

January 31, 2008 - Zanzibar, Tanzania


The trip from Arusha flying through Dar Saleem to Zanzibar was relatively uneventful accept for Namita losing her expensive sunglasses, she was none to happy about that.

Stone Town is the only real town on Zanzibar island which otherwise is made up of local villages and beach resorts. Namita and I arrived a few hours ahead of Mark and Terry. We hadn't yet booked our accommodations for Zanzibar (Stone Town or beach) so after lunch on a patio near the water we headed out to find a hotel. A local travel agent, who called us into his office as we walked by his window twice with our backpacks, helped us locate a reasonably priced hotel in Old Stone Town (the Serena Hotel there was around $300-400 per night).

The travel agent's driver needed to take the long way to drop us off at the hotel. Old Stone town is made up of a maze of narrow alleys, many lined with small shops. The alleys are restricted to pedestrians and motorbikes, in fact cars wouldn't fit down most of them. The Hotel was quite nice and is actually owned by a Canadian from Vancouver. After checking in we challenged our sense of direction and headed back on foot to the area from where we started because that's where we were to meet Mark and Terry.  Although we had a map for the area none of the alleys were posted so it really was a maze. You aim for a general direction and go left or right when you need to make a decision. It was fun walking the alleys, accept for the overly 'friendly' shop keepers.

That night we went to a restaurant on the water called Mercury's to celebrate my birthday. Did you know that Freddie Mercury was from Zanzibar? I was tempted by the seafood platter. It had a lot of good stuff but everything was overcooked for my liking. The four of us had a few drinks but it was relatively an early night.

After breakfast on the rooftop of our hotel the four of us wandered the alleys and walked to the local market. The market was packed with people. We purposely avoided the meat and fish section because seeing the 'butchers' cut up their product in the heat of Zanzibar was a little too much. We had lunch in Stone Town before making the trip north to the beach.



Birthday Dinner 1
Hotel - Stone Town
Stone Town Market
Stone Town
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