(Above, the Port at Zanzibar City)
Stonetown, the historic center of Zanzibar City is a tangle of streets filled with spice shops and tourist traps, smooth salesmen, cafes, guesthouses, workshops, schools, apartments, restaurants and mosques. We were just there a few short days after Kempinski on the north end of the island and Jambiani down south. While we were there we walked many miles though the narrow, crowded streets. Walking is not a luxury we have in Lusaka so that in itself was a treat. Every shop seemed to have something marvelous, something wonderful, something funky, something cool; The shopkeepers really were lovely and kind, especially to the boys, who were enchanted. We walked in the evening, at midday, and the last day there, early early in the morning before anyone but the schoolchildren were rushing through the crooked labyrinth.
I am always reluctant to photograph street scenes, not wanting to haul around my camera in a crowd or take photos of unwilling or unknowing subjects so my most precious memories of Stonetown are mine alone. The ones here are from an early morning walk O and I took with the camera when the streets were empty the shops closed. I let him lead the way, let him choose right, left, straight on. We got horribly lost but enjoyed the adventure and the feast of the senses.
Below: Scenes, Streets, Shops, Doors
The little big guy listening to the morning call to prayer. The muezzins call 5 times a day over their mosque loudspeakers, it's an unforgettable sound broadcast across the city. Click on the link below to hear the call to prayer while you are looking at the photos to get the full effect!
-hear the call to prayer: http://www.toursaudiarabia.com/prayer.html
-learn how to pray: http://islam.about.com/od/prayer/ht/pray.htm)
What you need to pray: heart-felt intention to perform the prayer, a clean body with correct ablutions, a clean place to pray. Prayer rugs are optional.
below, the view from our window at the Chavda
(Above: nuts, cloves, peppercorns, cardamon, vanilla, ceylon cinnamon (ground, whole and in soap), lemongrass soaps, tumeric, iranian saffron)
To say that Zanzibar has gorgeous carved doors is an understatement. I was imagining a beautiful door here and there, lovely doors on stately buildings. As you can see from the collection below, there are ornately carved doors on every shabby falling down building at every twist and turn on every road...
Have you seen enough of Zanzibar? Are you sick of it or are you booking your flight right now? Thanks for indulging me with this huge mountain of photos from such a quick little trip...
Bye Bye, back to Zambia....