I remember Zanzibar as a magical place. Fresh, alive and radiant with aromas. I managed to stay in two places on the island, to get a taste of both worlds; the island’s main hub of Stone Town, and an isolated resort on the north coast. Stone Town has an old world colonial feel to it, whilst bringing a myriad flavours, spices and exotic twists.
Lying in bed of an early morning, I remember it being still, quiet and cool, the sun just tipping the horizon, the tic tic of the ceiling fan, and the call to prayer echoing out, far enough away to feel like an early morning lullaby. If you get the chance, do stay here.
For me, Zanzibar’s allure lay in its complex blend of sensations, like its spices; the mildly fruity, the piquant and the fiery. The hidden smiles, the open laughs. Young artisans and old architecture. You feel the familiar chilled ambience so universal to island life, yet you know that this version is like nothing you’ve quite experienced before.
The coastal beaches are fresh. Think gouging the pulp out of a coconut shell once you’ve finished its juice, devouring whole skinned pineapple, watching fishermen drag in the day’s catch onto the beach, straight from longboats and dhows you watched float by hours before.
Produce fresh from the sea or the treetop, combined with island spices makes for beautifully diverse food.
There I was, sprawled across my aged leather armchair, strategically placed outside on the deck, book in hand, cocktail in the other, both framing the orange blaze of sunset. Foot lazily draped over the arm. Indulgently sipping my cocktail and juice as the sun disappeared over the horizon. Decadence simplified.
Photos by Jacqui Evans. Jacqui is a writer, traveller and business woman who has lived in Austria, UK, France and currently resides in Perth, Australia.