Daily Archives: December 21, 2014

Stone Town

Stone Town has the potential to be outstanding. The architecture is amazing, the doors alone are worth a visit. In Tanzania it is the first place I have seen with a real history (one stretching back centuries not decades) and yet I leave a little disappointed. We enjoyed our visit overall and none of this detracts from the overall positivity towards Zanzibar (Unguja) itself, but Stone Town is in need of repair. It’s not just a lick of paint (though that would help!), the buildings are crumbling, many of the door frames dishevelled (unpolished unpainted; graffiti strewn). The five main monuments we visited were the Anglican Cathedral, the Museum (Sultan’s Palace), the House of Wonders, the old Fort and the Persian Baths. Only the cathedral showed any sign of renovation; the Baths whilst interesting were very poorly maintained; the Fort was blackened and decaying; the Museum great inside but needing work to improve it’s overall appearance; following structural damage the House of Wonders was off limits officially but for a very high price (we did not pay!) you could go in.
In contrast the Prison Island complex was well maintained following investment from rich business men and the accompanying hotel.
It seems like decades if not centuries of neglect have left this World Heritage Site in a sorry state.
The town is being spruced up, but it’s hotels and cars that are getting repaired not the ancient heritage. This is sad as well as a little short sighted as the hotels in Stone Town will remain empty if there are no sights to see; people heading to the coast instead.
Here are some pictures from the town.
Anglican Cathedral / Site of Former Slave Market





Museum (Sultan’s Palace)






House of Wonders
Great Door but some was in ruin!


The Old Fort



The Persian Baths








I want to stress we really enjoyed visiting all these places but they need to be repaired otherwise they might soon be gone. They also need investment in terms of presentation and be attractively priced. The Cathedral got this right whilst Prison Island does not (we could not see half of it)

Prison Island






FastJet – Long Wait – Shambles!

FastJet is the name of one the carriers who fly out of Mwanza Airport to Dar Es Salaam.

We are currently here in the airport at Dar. Our flight has inexplicably been delayed with no prior warning and our flight number changed. A flight with our old number is departing but there is no space – our tickets are invalid for this flight. People might say – ah well it’s Tanzania – I think it’s just incompetence and bad service.

Here is an open letter to FastJet executive Dennis Chongolo. This has also been emailed directly.
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Songs of Christmas: Day 21 – Angels From The Realms of Glory

Each year I start playing Christmas Music from the start of December.

Each day until Christmas (in addition to my other posts) I will post a link to a video of some of the Christmas tunes on my iPod. Some will be carols, others pop songs. Here is my 21st offering:

Day 21

Annie Lennox: Angels From The Realms of Glory