Few names evoke the sense of exotic the way that Zanzibar does. It's competitors are, perhaps, Timbuktu, Tahiti, Serengeti, or maybe Istanbul. I have no recent photos of those places. But these are thoughts and images from a trip to Zanzibar, which is a mix of many cultures, but highly influenced by the Arab traders who controlled the place for a couple of centuries.

The Indian Ocean surrounds the place. And the once capital of the Oman empire was right here in Stone Town. Some people used to call these the Clove Islands.

The Arab influence resounds everywhere in the streets and continues right into the homes and hotels.

Try sitting in this chair with someone else and not having a conversation.

Although a world heritage site, Stone Town's back streets are raggedy, but full of people just living their lives. The narrow streets are a great place to wander and get lost.

Grilled corn, as you see in this shot, is one of my favorite road snacks: it's pretty safe so long as it's hot.

And the beaches around Zanzibar are quite fine indeed. Not to worry, this Dhow will be resurrected once the tide comes in.

In fact, the beaches are so nice that even cows like to suntan on them. I'm not sure if this group were locals or tourists.