11.19.08

Africa Day 14: Zanzibar for Tourists

Posted in africa 2008, personal, photos, travel at 12:54 am by wingerz

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Day 14: 3/28, Stone Town

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Zanzibar is known for its spices, so we visit a spice “plantation.” It turns out to be kind of a tourist trap, but it’s still good fun. Our guide takes us around the grounds, where he unearths roots and cuts leaves and barks for us to taste and smell. He’s amazed by our collective knowledge as we identify many of the spices on our own. We’re trailed by three boys who cut, fold, and weave leaves into accessories for us to wear. The fresh coconuts and fruits (especially the pineapple) are very good. I pick up a few packets of saffron (which have made it into our new kitchen).

We eat pilau (spiced rice) for lunch at a local restaurant in Stone Town. The meal is fast, cheap, authentic, and tasty. Not much more you can ask for. Bob falls to sleeping sickness after eating.

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We spend the afternoon touring Stone Town, the main town in Zanzibar. Starting from an old slave marketplace (including the dark, oppressive holding area), we wander through the twisted, narrow streets to the market and over to some of the other landmarks. Some of the doors are intricately carved, signifying the wealth of their owners. Colorful shutters open above street level. Stone Town is a great place to walk around; it feels completely exotic, and right as you feel yourself getting hopelessly lost you find your way back to one of the main streets. We shop for a while and watch the sunset from the roof of the Africa House Hotel before heading to Mercury’s for dinner. We have a decent meal outdoors at the highly Americanized restaurant.

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