October 1, 2014

Tanzania: Stone Town, Zanzibar

{ Flamingo's Guest House }
After landing in Dar Es Salaam we took a thirty minute Precision Air flight to Zanzibar, an island off the coast of Tanzania. As we walked out of the airport I prepared myself to be swarmed by taxi men and to start wheeling and dealing but unexpectedly Saif from Flamingos Guest House was waiting there with my name on a sign. Flamingos was excellent and because Stone Town is so small you can't have a bad location. The room was clean, there was wi-fi throughout the guest house and breakfast was served on the rooftop. Breakfast was fresh fruit, bread, jam and eggs with your choice of tea or coffee. 



{ The kittens of Stone Town }
The small streets of Stone Town wind around until you pop out by the waterfront. How do you find your way back to the guest house? Your guess is as good as mine. There is so much happening inside the maze of streets - children playing, prayers being read over the loud speaker at mosques, samosas being cooked, men sitting around searching for wi-fi and women walking past you in burkas. There is a such a mix of cultures here.

After spending the afternoon on the waterfront we easily got lost finding our way back to Flamingos. That night when we went out for dinner we made sure to walk on larger roads (by larger I mean a road a car could drive on) and make mental notes of landmarks - go right at the medical corner, go right at the Ethiopian restaurant, pass the Chinese symbols. It was our best solution to not have a local walk us back to the guest house for a fee.

{ The park outside of Africa House }

{ The sunset the first night was perfect }
{ The sunset the second night tasted like sherbet }
The sunset outside of Africa House was spectacular. The red circle sets over the horizon and dhows sail past. Everyone comes to enjoy the final moments of light at the park. Children jump off the edge into the water and adults follow, men play soccer, ride bikes and practice what looked like dancing martial arts. At this moment you feel apart of Zanzibar. I wish it lasted longer. 

{ Rooftop view from Flamingos Guest House }
I spent my last day in Stone Town on the rooftop of Flamingos talking with a local Zanzibarian. I learned all about how Zanzibar wants to be separate from Tanzania. In addition, he showed me his photography blog and we Googled how he would land his dream job, being a sailor in international waters. 

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