10/6/09: Zanzibar, Tanzania
Zanzibar – worth 28 points in Scrabble, if only there were two z’s in the bag…
We arrived in Stone Town, Zanzibar this morning after getting up at 4:30am to catch the 7:00am ferry from Dar es Salaam. The ferry had several unexpected amenities, including air conditioning (first AC since coming to Africa) and flat screen TVs (that inexplicably played Rambo IV with hilariously wrong English subtitles even though the movie itself was also in English).
Stone Town is a beautiful place, definitely one of my favorite stops on the trip so far. It is filled with little winding alleyways, cool restaurants and lots and lots of tiny, crowded shops.
After checking into our unexpectedly posh hotel (A bathroom! In our room! Who cares if it’s only separated from the “bedroom” by a shower curtain?), we spent the afternoon walking around the town and exploring before heading to the Stone Town night food market for dinner.
The night food market was set up in a park by the water. As soon as we entered the market, we were greeted by the smells of fresh seafood and shouts from nearby vendors. We quickly figured out that most of the tables sold the same foods, so we decided to stop at a friendly seller’s table to get some food. There were tons of different kinds of skewers – tuna, shark, shrimp, lobster, mussels, barracuda, etc. We sampled lots of different things (naan, samosas, a mussel skewer, “mango fruit pizza,” a GIANT crab claw) but couldn’t bring ourselves to try barracuda. I did try the local specialty drink though – sugarcane juice with a little bit of lime and a little bit of ginger. It was refreshingly delicious.
I’d love to say that a romantic stroll along the water was the perfect end to a great day, but alas, it was not to be. The last thing we were offered before leaving the night market was some weed.
Picture of the Day: Kevin plays hide and seek at the night market