Sunday, January 17, 2016

Stone Town, Zanzibar, January 17, 2016

Happy Anniversary to Jane and Mitch.  Last year it was +4 and today it's around -40!  Crazy!

We're in Stone Town for one night before we start heading south towards Mozambique.

Stone Town had the last open market slave trade from 1811-1873.  Islam prohibits enslaving Muslims; someone had to do the work so non-Muslim Africans were captured and brought here to sell.  It was stopped in 1873 thanks to Dr. David Livingstone who pleaded with the British government to abolish it.  Most slaves from here went to Arabia, Persia and Indian Ocean islands.  As many as 10,000 to 50,000 slaves passed through the market each year. Since 1874, an Anglican church sits on the site.  I also went into the former holding cells where up to 65 slaves were crammed in small, dark, filthy rooms.  Most died.   

Clara Sonas made the Slave Memorial: chain and all-

Estella  Market has a fish auction-

Also for sale were octopus and squid-

What a stink!

Spices are also available for sale-

As well as everything else that is usually found in a market.

Stone Town boasts some lovely front doors. This one is Arabic because of the square symbol in the middle center.  Also, the engraved chain means the inhabitants were involved in the slave trade-

This door belonged to an Indian family.  The points on the door were used to keep elephants from charging in.  Again the chain symbolizes slave traders-

Freddie Mercury of Queen fame was born and raised in Stone Town until he went to England for boarding school.  He died in 1991 from AIDS.  He was well known for being able to sing 4 octaves and  a great falsetto-

I was quite disappointed with the tour this afternoon.  It cost $25 US and was a waste of time.  I could easily have made my way around to Mercury's house and the slave market for free.  Oh well.

The Africa House Hotel is Zanzibar's 'Raffles' so it was only fitting to go there for a drink and to watch the sunset-

Supper was at the night market where I had barbecued squid and octopus-

Both were pretty chewy!

We leave at 6:10 tomorrow morning for the ferry to return to the mainland and The Beast as we head south.

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