Recap: I went on a Scavenger hunt and then visited the Anglican Church and then went on the much recommended Sunset Cruise.
Meeting with Naila Jidawi: Naila is also lovingly called Mama Naila in Zanzibar by the people. She wore a headscarf and is a very influential, powerful woman who was chosen as a Member of the Parliament in Tanzania. She is one of those people who spend all their money on the less fortunate people- helping and supporting them in whatever way she can. She helps women especially taking them into her care. These women, according to her, are born artists. They know how to knit and weave and are skilled at producing elegantly designed handicrafts. She genuinely wanted to show us around and since she couldn’t fit all of us in her car, some representatives were volunteered. She is a genuinely nice lady and if someone could donate funds or buy their handicrafts, it would be truly appreciated.
Palace Museum: The Palace Museum was something we’d come across on our Stone Town tour but we hadn’t stepped inside.
The Palace Museum was a royal palace that had been converted to a museum. However, it didn’t have that command over my attention nor did I feel completely awestruck by it. Or maybe I need to stop watching Aladdin on repeat.
The ground floor of the palace was basically empty apart from a tiny cannon that was a gift from the British government to the Sultan.
One the first floor of the palace, we were greeted by was a row of portraits of all the Sultans that occupied the place. According to one of my friends, only royalty was allowed to wear whatever the sultans were wearing in the portrait.
Next, we entered to a royal drawing room (?) which was where the
king sultan had conferences (of the medieval kind?)
One of the readings we were required to read before we came on the trip was Emily Ruete’s book Memoirs of an Arabian Princess and she had a chamber in the palace which we were taken into.
Like I said, her room seemed pretty small as compared to what I was picturing when the guide was ushering us into the room. Emily was actually born Sayyida Salme and was the youngest daughter of Sultan Sayyid Said bin Sultan Al-Busaid. She married a German man which she knew wouldn’t really be acceptable by her family so ran away from home. Once she got to Germany however, her husband died soon after and she was left to fend for her children. In order to earn some money, she began writing a memoir that talked about her experiences, life at the palace and the people of Zanzibar. Standing in her room, after reading her book, I felt like I was watching a movie that starred her. Her bedroom had pictures of her as well as part of her clothing, shoes she wore on royal occasions. She was buried in Zanzibari soil in Hamburg.
On the second floor, we came across the King’s chamber next. He is said to have had a lot of wives and built “secret” rooms for the concubines. (I don’t know how much of this is true to be honest, but I just find all this amusing)
The weird cool bathroom:
The sink was built into a drawer. After you were done washing your hands, you dipped the sink backwards and the water collected into a small bucket kept under the drawers and would be emptied in small intervals by the household help.
From the second floor balcony, we could see the mass graves of the Sultans.
To nicer things. This was the view from the other side:
Stunning. As always.
Dinner: We came back to have our last dinner at Zanzibar. Everyone was visibly sad and reminiscing and of course ordered the best dishes that the hotel had.
Zanzibari food like I’ve said before has a lot of Indian influence so on my second last day at Zanzibar, I decided to try out the butter chicken that our hotel offered. It was slightly creamier than what I’m used to but good nonetheless. Since we were having dinner at the rooftop of our hotel at night, the atmosphere was perfect. The candles and the slow breeze were calming (I really need to come up with more adjectives) and everyone was in a let’s-take-in-all-this-we’re-leaving-tomorrow mode so our table was loud.
Me and one of my friends shared the Cookies ice cream which was really nice too but it would have helped to have a bigger serving.
Tip: Take Cards Against Humanity, some playing cards or a book along if you aren’t really into the nightlife scene.