Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Spice Island. Day one.

Sup yo! Me, I'm in Nairobi visiting Johan, and we just got back from a 5-day visit to Zanzibar, where interestingly, there were a whole lot of sunbathing Germans. Like, to the point where it almost had us googling "what's up with all the Germans in Zanzibar?!"

The wifi situation was pretty bad though, so instead we chatted up a German guy in a restaurant, who informed us that at some point back in the 19th Century, some Brits and some Germans got together over drinks and were all "hey, why don't we make this Island ours?" and then they all raised their glasses and toasted to Imperialism.

Anyway, Zanzibar! What an absolutely dreamy and also dirt poor place. Quite heavily dependent on tourism and at the same time a little corrupted by it. And also, super hot, which meant we couldn't really muster the energy to see any of  all the cultural sights, nor did we go on the Freddie Mercury Tour, which my sister, a die hard fan, had suggested we go on.

Instead we spent our first day wandering about Stone Town, the old part of Zanzibar City, marveling at all the beautiful vistas and breathtaking Swahili architecture, ate plenty of good food and took a good long stroll along the beach, waddling in the bathtub-hot water.

Not bad. Not bad at all :)

We stayed at the Emerson Spice Hotel, in a room that felt very One thousand and One Nights
It also had an interesting layout - interesting in the sense that the bed and living room section and bathtub and toilet were all in one room. Like no doors, none! (It suffices to say that we established a whole new level of intimacy on this trip ;)

This was the view from the ground floor interior courtyard:

And this was the view from our floor down: 

At one point, all the lady bloggers in town went: "We've had it up to HERE with snake plants! Now we're all about fig leaf trees!" - and then they all disposed of their snake plants in an alley somewhere and forgot all about them. (Are you getting this joke at all? Or am I reading way too many style blogs?!)
We had lunch at the Livingstone Beach Restaurant, which was insanely picturesque. 
One of those places places with an old-world feel that makes you wonder: "Hey was colonialism really so bad after all?" and then you remember yes, it totally was! And one minute later, you look around and see that you're surrounded by nothing but white people and you realize that colonialism is not over at all, in fact it's thriving! And it's partly thanks to the likes of me! (insert 1,000 ashamed emojis here)
My travel companion. In pink shorts :)

Here I asked him to pose with the bougainvillea and that cute bus. 
It amazes me that he always obliges, even though in this picture he's clearly thinking: "She's so weird it's almost a little sad" ;)

And finally: THIS SUNSET! How 80s can you get?!

And that, my friends, was the end of our first fine day in Zanzibar.

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