Zanzibar Photo Essay

Zanzibar has the fascinating mix of cultures that most of my favourite places do. Synagogues, mosques and churches sit side by side in the narrow alleyways of Stone Town old town. The hustle and bustle of Darajani food market is a stark contrast to the image of a beautiful tropical island. Music blasts out the speakers which competes with the shouts of the food sellers haggling prices. Like most great markets, it is complete chaos as you try and weave through the crowds without accidentally standing on somebody's hard earned produce. The town comes to life every evening as kids and adults alike spill onto the beach to jump into the sea. In the cooler shady alleyways, the stunning giant wooden doors front many of the old rickety buildings. Away from the crowds in Stone Town are the idyllic turquoise beaches that are the sterotypical image of Zanzibar. The long Eastern coastline faces the Indian Ocean, where at Jambian beach the pace of life is befitting of its laid back surroundings. Occasionally somebody will saunter along the beach at such a slow pace you wonder how the bike is staying upright. The craziest things get is if the fishermen return with their days's catch, at which point crowds congregate to start haggling price once again.

All in all, Zanzibar is an island of contrasts. Crazy markets and quiet beaches. The call to prayer competing for tourists attention with shop owners trying to sell their tut. I recommend finding a shady rooftop with a cold drink to retreat away from the madness if it all gets too much. Or just go to the beach...

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