Saturday, 23 June 2012

Watching the sun go down in Zanzibar...

Zanzibaaaaaaaaar. What an amazing name for an island hey? England is so boring in comparison with its two dull syllables. Ing-Land. Zaaaaanziiiiiibaaaaaar. I think I’ve made my point. I’ll move on now.

I loved my time visiting Zanzibar, it’s a beautiful place. Mystifying and intriguing with lots of winding alleys in Stone Town, and the most stunning beaches I’ve ever seen at Nungwi *sigh*

Stone Town / Kendwa- both gorgeous in different ways!

But my God it was hot.

I’ve never been somewhere so hot and had to wear so many clothes. In Stone Town you have to cover up out of respect as it is a Muslim town. Phew. I think I had about sixteen outfit changes a day.

The ferry trip was the coolest part of the trip - temperature wise...

It’s fair to say I liked Stone Town a lot more after the sun had done its business, taken his hat off and set for the day.

It’s a fairly common fact that the best place to go and watch the sun set in Stone Town is at the Africa House Hotel. I’m not going to dispute that, in fact I’ll endorse it further and INSIST that you watch the sun set there.

If you approach the hotel from the main roads through Stone Town, you have no idea what to expect, all you do is enter through a door, just as you do with most buildings.

You climb the cool, grand, dark stairway, blinded after the bright sunlight of outside… you head along a corridor and are hit in the face with the most beautiful scenery.

It’s just the sea, stretching out for miles. All the way to the horizon to be precise.

The Africa House Hotel knows when it’s on to a good thing, they’re not daft. They’ve got the biggest terrace looking out to sea with amazing regal sofas to stretch out on (get there early – around 5pm – to avoid disappointment!) combine this with waiter service and hazy afternoon sun and it’s just bliss.

The maxi-dress convention was fun!

I can totally see why cats like stretching out in a comfy sunny spot now.

Rather than a saucer of milk, I opted for a Tusker beer. It’s a Kenyan beer and you’re in Zanzibar, off Tanzania’s coast, but I don’t much care for the local beer of Kilimanjaro. Yeah, I said it, so what? Back off.

Anywhere where was I? Oh yes, here:

A photo of someone taking a photo! Artsy!

I’d advise you to bring a deck of cards along with you if you’ve got there early to bag a sofa. You probably have 2.5hours until the sun sets… if not, then take someone along for either an amicable silence or animated chitchat, it’s your call.

You’ll know it’s close to sunset time when a flotilla of dhows heads back to shore, what a sight!

OK so that's not a flotilla, but I was busy drinking chatting

Then the temperature drops maybe half a centigrade, the sky turns orange and the sun starts to drop steadily towards the sea like someone is out there pulling it downwards.

It’s ridiculously captivating, even though it happens every day all by itself and is the most natural thing in the world, you can’t help but stare in wonder at the sun setting.

Then all of a sudden, with a cold beer in your hand, you watch as the sun gets swallowed bit by bit into the sea – plop! The sky is a wonderful mixture of colours as the last remaining dhows sail back to shore, it’s almost too perfect. I get suspicious and look around me for hidden cameras, just like on The Truman Show.

Happy as Larry with wine...
Why do we insist on living in England when there are places in the world like this?! Would we just get used to the beauty around us if our everyday lives involved this?

I don’t know, but I think I’d be happy to give it a try!

Zanzibar, you're perfect just the way you are, I'll be back soon. 

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