This is going to be one of those cheesy posts where I gush about how beautiful the place I visited was... so if you're not in the mood, feel free to skip it. Seriously, though, I wish I could post pictures, because I definitely do not have the poetry to descibe Zanzibar.
It's a spice island, so it's incredibly green, with plantations growing everything from cloves to cinnamon. It also served as a trade port--the hub moving Arabic and Indian consumer goods (cloth, salt, brassware) into Eastern and Southern Africa in exchange for exotic raw materials (gold, ivory, and mangrove poles). It was also the final destination for East African slaves bound for Asia and the Middle East.
Tori and I explored on our own, using our residency permits to secure bettern deals at our hotel and for our boat ride. We witnessed firsthand the relics of several hundred years of history, from the Sultan's palace to the Portuguese fort. We also saw the site of the old slave market--there's now an Anglican church built over most it--and the spice markets--which are still thriving.
It's definitely worth a visit for anyone in the East African neighborhood--the people are incredibly hospitable, it isn't overrun with tourists, and the beaches are pristine.
Expect more about it when I have a faster Internet connection and can share pictures!
Until then, hope everyone is having a lovely summer!