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14/10/13: the Sultans of Zanzibar

May I wish all my readers a very happy Nyerere Day, even if it is not a public holiday (we international types don't have bank holidays) where you are at the moment.  The founding father of Tanzania, Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, Baba wa Taifa - Teacher Julius Nyerere, Father of the Nation - is remembered here with great respect.  Even if people don't agree with his politics, as far as I can make out there's consensus that what he did he did in the fervent belief that he was doing the best for his country, with no thought for personal gain.  So, a chance to take a bit of a break from working at a pretty frenetic pace since being back from holiday, do some cooking - and write this blog entry.

So, one last blog entry from Zanzibar, even if the memory is now fading somewhat.  The full title of Tanzania is the United Republic of Tanzania, ie. the union between mainland Tanzania, the former Tanganyika, and Zanzibar, a collection of islands off the coast in the Indian Ocean, the biggest being Unguja, often referred to, strictly incorrectly, as Zanzibar - similar to the difference between England and the UK.  It is very noticeable that Zanzibar has much of the infrastructure of a country in its own right, so whilst the ferry from DSM to Stone Town is not leaving the country, you have to go through immigration on arrival.  And, on the spice trail back in March, it was clear from the answer to the questions that the guides did not consider themselves to be in Tanzania.  And a good few of the education statistics from across Africa I see list Zanzibar and Tanzania (not, curiously, Tanganyika which would, one have thought, have been unambiguous) separately.

This stems from a quite distinct history, with Sultans ruling from 1856 to 1964, with the last Sultan still alive in Portsmouth to this day.  Evidence of their rule can be seen across Unguja.  One such is Marubuhi Palace, built by Sultan Barghash Bin Said for his wives between 1880 and 1882, and subsequently burnt down in 1899.  Here follows an exterior shot:














and the remains of the baths:













and an interior shot showing some of the rooms occupied by the wives whilst waiting for their turn:



























Another notable site, also close to Stone Town, is Mtoni Palace, also in ruins, built by Sultan Seyyid Said.  Here follow some pictures:



















































Not sure that these pictures do justice to the reality, do look them up on the Internet if interested!

Almost finished with Zanzibar for the time being, just a quick couple of pictures from a shipyard, an important trade locally, of course!

























Now, I know that some ridiculous things get said and done in the name of health and safety.  But I hope you agree with me that the world would be a better place if the man below was wearing heavy boots:


























That's it for now, I'll be back soon!

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