We caught a Dala Dala at the top of our road at just after 9, luckily this one was not quite so full! Somebody from the hotel came with us as they were trying to show us a hotel where we could leave some of our stuff so we weren’t burdened with it in town. However we were slightly concerned they were trying to be our guide and get money from us. Luckily this wasn’t the case, however the hotel was near the port and not near where we wanted to be. We did very quickly find a fancy hotel where we could leave our bag. We simply walked to reception and offered $5 to store our bag there.
Our flight was at 5, so we didn’t have ages. we picked a few sites and set of into the maze of tiny streets to get as much done as we could. First up was the spice market. A market which is a local market and also has many stalls of spices for the tourists. Kristine and I haggled for some tea, coffee and soap. We then got wonderfully lost on the way to the Anglican Church. It was only a 150/200 meters from us but we must have walked three-times that distance to get there!
The church is a really interesting design on the outside. As it was a Sunday we decided not to go inside. Interestingly next to the church was a mosque, 97% of the island is Muslim. The church was also home to the slave market. The conditions were horrendous. I couldn’t stand up and the temperature was intense, even now in winter. We made our way to a second church, St Joseph’s Cathedral. It was closed however, it look architecturally brilliant.
We had lunch at an Indian restaurant which overlooked the sea. It had a really cheap lunch deal that was really good – I had two amazing mango lassies. We had just under two hours left, and spent them wandering in and out of tourist shops and just walking around the streets. In between some of the really touristy shops was Capital Art Studio. It was a photograph studio ran by an Indian man. All the photographs were in black and white and went back more than 60 years, when his Dad ran the shop. They are both free-lance photographers and he very proudly showed us British and Danish Royalty that had visited the island. It was great to see pictures of how incredibly different life was, even just 50 years ago.
We grabbed our bag at the hotel and headed for the airport. I had to grab some cash and we were running out of time, so we grabbed a cab. We were really glad we did when we got to the airport as there was a long queue for a baggage scan before we even checked in. It was really disorganised and we had to wait for a long time before waiting for check-in. For some reason we didn’t have to pay a tourist exit fee. If we had however been flying to Dar Es Salaam, we would have had to pay it…
We had to wait a long time to get on our plane once through the gate. As soon as we could board we ran to the plane and got window seat on the right hand side so we could see Kili. The filled yet we still didn’t leave, I presumed we were just running on African time. We looked out the window and saw a fire engine on the runway! There was an Ethiopia Airways plane and an Oman Air plane both sitting there with their doors open and no steps. Kristine and I couldn’t agree on which plane was in trouble. After moving a lot of small planes we were able to takeoff and see what was the problem. The Oman Air plane had taxied away, yet it had misjudged how close the Ethiopian plane and the wings had crashed into each other!
As we ended our short flight back, we could see the amazing peak of Kili appearing out of the clouds. It was a brilliant sight, just as it is from the ground. I ran from the plane to save Kristine and I a seat on the shuttle. I didn’t need to as only 3 other people were on the shuttle. It worked really well as we got off at Highway and made the short walk down to SWIWSCO. It was Kristine’s last night and the kids made a great fuss over her. It was really nice to see and I am sure it made her feel much better about leaving the next day.
Even though Zanzibar had been far more expensive than I thought, I was really glad I went. It was great to have a few days on the beach and I loved diving again. I may make a short trip back in October, when high season is over.