The house of free men

J’s birthday and the last day of the trip.

OMG! We have a suite in the best hotel in Stonetown! This isn’t a tough benchmark, but nevertheless, this place is amazing. All marble floors and heavy Burmese teak, dominated by an enormous brass four poster bed and a huge Turkish-style stone bath.

At one end of the room there is a wooden staircase leading up onto our private tea room on the roof. It has a big sofa and a swing and views all the way across the peninsula.

The old Emerson & Green hotel

The old Emerson & Green hotel

The hotel is now called 236 Hurumzi, after its address. Hurumzi is from the Swahili uhuru-mzee, which means ‘free the men’. When slavery was abolished here (in 1873, I think) the slave owners had to be paid off, and the building I’m sitting in is where they came to collect their Maria Theresa dollars.

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