Saturday, March 3, 2012

Saturday, Mar 3rd, Zanzibar Serena Hotel


With the sounds of a 60’s easy rock band playing from the pool below, we’re laying in a mosquito-net covered bed listening to the last vestige of a Queen song played by the band in tribute to the late, lead singer (Richie Mercury) who was born here in Stones Town, Zanzibar.  The band’s songlist covered every band around during that time, and they haven’t had a break in three hours.  As usual, Pat’s reading, and I’m typing this.  The hit tonight on the menu was a tough choice between the stir-fried calamari or the lime-ginger-sugar cane juice, hand squeezed on the grounds.

Zanzibar is part of Tanzania.  In fact, it’s the “Zan” in Tanzania.  For those of us who missed that part of the Africa history, There used to be two countries: Tanganyika and  Zanzibar.  After a revolution when they threw out the last Sultan, they merged, kept separate governments, and made the President of Zanzibar the Vice President of new combined country of Tanzania.  But they still refer to this island as Zanzibar.  

The houses in the old city, Stones Town (now a world heritage site) have architectural features (mostly big doors with spikes to stop the elephants from bashing them in) from the Arab and Indian world.  They were the organizers and recipients of the east coast slave trade which built this city.  We visited an Anglican Church constructed by the British in 1874, to re-claim the ground used as a slave market, shortly after the Sultan III abolished the practice.

Later this afternoon, I got to swim in the coastal waters in front of our hotel.  It was exactly what I had been hoping for, except that there weren’t any waves and it hasn’t cured my ear problem.  I’m going back in tomorrow.  And I’m hoping for waves at the second hotel we’ll be at in a couple of days.  But I shouldn’t complain.  It’s really wonderful here, and we’re having fun.

To see all of the photos taken today, click on: Saturday, Mar 3rd. Zanzibar Serena Hotel


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