Sunday, December 2, 2012

Z is for Zanzibar: Stonetown & Spice Tour

Piecing together the last 12 months we realized that we hadn't had a real holiday since well, our honeymoon, which was about 12 months ago! Sure there were the weekend jaunts and short escapes but our 1st wedding anniversary was a good opportunity to actually get away. Considering it's the 'paper' anniversary we decided to buy some paper tickets that would fly us to East Africa's island of spice - Zanzibar.

Stone Town



*fist bump*

- Traditional Zanzibar greeting

The best thing to do in Stone Town is to simply meander its maze-like alleyways, discover ancient and amazing architecture, eat good food and meet the locals. We met one young girl who invited us back to her house to meet her family and watch Barbie cartoons on their small TV set.

Getting lost in Stown Town is an important rite of passage for any serious tourist and we passed with flying colours on at least two occasions. The town is so eclectic and interesting that two days didn't do it justice, so we decided to return back and get to know the place a little better later on in the week.

Pretty much every spice you can think of grows in Zanzibar, and first timers should should make a point to head out on one of the many spice tours that take you to the economic heart of the island.

We left Stone Town behind and headed into the lush green of rural Zanzibar. When we arrived at the spice farm we were met with the sweet scent of cardamom lingering in the air. Our guide took us around the different bushes, trees and vines and Laura won the 'Which spice is this' game hands down. If you liked those fruity smelling textas in school then you'd love this place.

It's quite amazing to see how the spices hiding in the back of the pantry are grown. We were treated to lunch and given woven palm crowns and a ring to put on Laura's finger - quite appropriate for the fact that it was November 19. I did the exact same thing twelve months ago but this time to the hollering and encouragement of a guy who had just sang hakuna matata from the top of a coconut tree.

After lunch we kept heading across the island to the East coast where we landed in paradise and did what everyone does when in paradise - very little indeed! Next up we'll take you to Pongwe and the turquoise warm waters of the Indian Ocean.

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