Monday, 21 November 2011

Honeymoon Pt 10 - Zanzibar, Stone Town

After leaving Ras Nungwi we stayed for one night in Serena Inn in Stone Town before our flight back to mainland Tanzania the next morning.  We arrived at about 11am and had arranged for a walking tour of the old town with our driver.  We checked in and left our luggage, had a lovely, cold welcome drink served in a coconut (love those wee tropical holiday touches) and met our guide outside before even going to our room.

At first I wasn't sure how good the tour was going to be but it turned out to be very interesting and our guide was very knowledgeable.  We mainly booked it as we had only that afternoon to explore and had no idea where to go or what to see (a good idea as it turns out it is VERY easy to get lost in Stone Town!)  None of the streets have names, there are just 'areas' so you can easily find yourself wandering the back streets having not a clue which way to go or where you are, just keep going until you see something familiar!

We started off wandering past a few restaurants and shopping areas near our hotel, past a square where the men like to meet at night for a blether and to watch sport on a TV which is put up on a stand for them all to see.  We walked past dozens of little back street shops and stands selling all kinds of things - the usual touristy paraphernalia, fruit & veg, antiques, camera equipment, clothing...

Antique shop

We noticed some areas of the town were very clean while others were shockingly dirty piled with rubbish.  Some areas very quiet and all of a sudden a random busy area full of people or children.

Quiet Area

Busy area

Dirty Area

We were shown around the old slave market which was incredibly humbling and awful to see the conditions in which they were kept.

This slave chamber would have had 75 men squeezed into it!
(I am standing at the door to take this photo and the other wall is just off camera.)
This reads:
During the slave trade, these two underground rooms were used to keep slaves before being taken to the market for auctioning.  A small hut was on top and there was a big hole used as an entrance to the slave chambers.  Slaves were kept in terrible conditions, so many died of suffocation and starvation.  The amount was terrible."

This is a statue representing one of the slave pits where they were sold.

One of the actual shackles used.

This poster represents how the slaves were transported , piled on top of one another,
literally crammed into the base of the ships.

We went through the fish market and fruit and veg stalls.

I love the way they balance their oranges! 

Squid and octopusses (octopi?)

After the stinky market, some more of the pretty clean areas...

Comfy Cat


They have some pretty amazing doors with carvings and huge brass studs and we bought a lovely watercolour painting of one which I will show you in the next instalment, along with our lovely hotel room and what we did for dinner that evening (it was actually quite interesting) before I finally get to the safari report!  ;)

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