Stone Town, the principal town of the island hasn't changed much at all. Same chilled atmosphere, narrow streets, beautiful sea and great food.
In 2004 we ate in the night market every single night, loving the cheap food, the bartering and the fresh fish. The night market is still there. The Forodhani Gardens were refurbished in 2010 and are now quite pleasant. There is more of a semblance of hygiene and safety on the stalls. The meat is already precooked and there's no fish now. You can still bargain for your plate of food and you'll be ushered to the plastic seating beside the drinks kiosks.
Zanzibar is 95% Muslim and this is strongly in evidence in Stone Town with no less than 53 mosques and only 2 Christian churches, an Anglican and a Catholic Church.
I returned to the famous Mr Mitu spice tour. The oldest spice tour, 55 years on the go. For 15 US dollars you get a tour which begins at 9.30am, finishes at 3pm, includes minibus to spice plantations, guided tour and tastings, lunch and an hour at the beach. Talk about good value!
I also did some sightseeing around the city. I visited the Grand Palace which I'm afraid hasn't been painted or swept since we wandered through it in 2004.
There is a new exhibition at the Slave Chambers which is well worth visiting. Zanzibar was a slave island and from here slaves were bought, sold and deported around the world. The exhibition is extremely well put together and very thought provoking.
Other than that it's been a few days of eating, trying various Tanzanian coffees - spiced/ginger/iced. I'm actually staying in a coffee house - Zanzibar Coffee House, so there is a serious coffee theme to these few days.
Next stop is the east coast for some beach time, swimming and surfing. It's all go!