The old town of Zanzibar is Stone town. Here is dynamic, colorful, spicy-scented. Everyone looks busy and the city is alive. Someone steals a souvenir and starts running on the street trying to sell it fast.
Stone town is the most developed part of Zanzibar, Tanzania. There are high buildings and small port on the Indian ocean. We are here with a tour guide, his name is Hasan, and this is an excellent choice! He speaks very good English and he can explain everything about the city. The island Zanzibar is very attractive and we are asking about the past. Hasan answers all our questions related to the history of Zanzibar and Tanzania.
I strongly recommend you to contact Hasan HERE via facebook if you want to discover Stone town or the whole Zanzibar island. He is a very nice young person.
We are passing the Old Fort where the culture of Zanzibar is represented during their festivals. More about the culture of Zanzibar can be found in another post here .
The Old Fort is next to House of Wonders. A curious fact is that the first elevator in Zanzibar was in this old building . It is the largest and tallest building in Zanzibar. The architecture of Palace of Wonders is ancient, compound and curious.
The second elevator was built in Palace of Sultan, one of the most historical places on the African island. So much history here! The Palace is enormous and keeps the spirit of the past. Said bin Sultan was the first Sultan in Zanzibar. On the second floor we can see how princess Sayyida Salme has lived. There is one book – “The princess of Zanzibar” which is dedicated to this princess. She married to a German and had really tough life because of her choice. Her parents didn’t want to see her anymore so she left the country.
The exhibits include some of her writings, clothes and daily life accessories.
In the Palace of Sultan, we see a hall which is still functional for local elections.
Here from our tour guide we learn so much about the African history. Before Tanzania,there were Tanganyika and Zanzibar. They merged into Tanzania – “tan” like Tanganyika; “zan” like Zanzibar; “nia” means together. People’s life here has changed after the merged and some are happy, other don’t feel sure about their future.
I am walking in the palace of Sultan and so many pictures are changing. I am hearing about the political situation now and I see how was life here in the Palace. The Sultan had one main wife – Sultana, and more other women which rooms are not in the Palace. There are nice portraits as gifts. In the past sometimes this was the only chance to represent yourself to the Sultan. No Facebook, remember?
Going out of the Palace of Sultan, we are learning more facts about Tanzania. The citizens in the whole Tanzania are 49 million and on the island Zanzibar – 1.5 million.
Narrow dirty streets are showing us where is the Market of Stone town. On the market everything can be found – meat, cheese, milk, so many spices! of course because Zanzibar is the spice island. There are small souvenir shops and homemade things can be found.
It is dirty and so arty!
The smell around the market is disgusting because they don’t have refrigerators and the food is a bit spoiled. Locals are used to that but it is really hard to see a meat with so many flies on it to be for selling. While we are walking, we hear some nice dancing music from local poor hut. Small children are running with no shoes on the dirty dusty streets.
They look happy 🙂
We are hungry, so we need to try one of the local food places. There are many and you can sit to eat almost on every corner. The food quality is suspicious at first for us and they serve you the food with hands. You can see their fingers have parts of your food. And that’s how we start eating… The food is delicious! and we taste some local specialties with rice and vegеtables.
Our walk continuous with Freddie Mercury’s house but there was nothing special about it, because nowadays they rebuilt it like hotel. So if you are not a guest of the hotel, you cannot even enter the house.
We have pleasant moments picking souvenirs from small and bigger shops. We found some really nice stores for clothes and jewels.
Our day is ending, we are on one of the highest points in Stone town, drinking cocktail Crazy monkey and waiting for the sunset.
I am so grateful! I know I am blessed!
African kisses to all of you and can’t wait to share what else I’ve discover on the island Zanzibar.