May 2nd 2015, Dar el Salam, Tanzania
After more than 6 hours of flight, a beautiful view of Saudi Arabia’s lights from above, I saw what I think it is the most beautiful view of nature I have ever seen: a wonderful landscape of the Mountain of Light or what most people call Kilimanjaro. I see even now the milky colors of the soft curves of the Kilimanjaro. Entire Google does not have a snapshot as beautiful as what I still see when I close my eyes and think of Tanzania.
A random Google picture of Kilimanjaro, which does not by far compare to what I saw from right above the mountain, very close and simply amazing (source)
Finally, we reached Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere International Airport (the name of the airport is given by former president of Tazania).
If I love contrasts so much, how can I not love Africa. From the first minute I got off the airplane, voices of African languages were heard everywhere around, one over another is something similar to a incantation or like in an opened market.
The bus was waiting to take us through the street show to the hotel. Narrow streets with provincial look, many motorbikes slaloming through the cars, buses filled with local people, groups of runners with colorful football socks, women with buckets on their heads, walking like they are relaxing, women in colorful clothes, a lot of Coke advertisements, small ambulant shops improvised in the dust, a lot of fresh green. And thin rain.
The configuration of the streets was the following: two lanes for each direction divided by a 2 meter green zone, then at the sides of the road another green lane and then the pedestrian area, then another green area even with trees and climbing plants and then another alley for the cars. Living in Doha for the past 2 and a half months, I had missed the green and the rain.
At the hotel, there is security everywhere, two men check the zone under every car with a special device and opens the back doors.
At the entrance, more security with a belt scan and body scan like the one at the airport. The security officers are very welcoming and look very young and as I was going to find out, here everybody is very warm and welcoming. For a cleaning freak like myself, the hotel is ranking poor at this section.
The hotel has a pleasant style, with an old scent and many natural flowers.
I drink my coffee looking at the hot rain, the palm trees washed by it and the people walking in the street in front of the hotel while I listen to CNN, as always.
The garden if the hotel is luxuriant. The pool is between palm trees and other exotic trees some with deep orange red and pink flowers. There is a bar and reed umbrellas every now and then.
Somewhere to the treadmills facing the pool there is a greenhouse that hosts a local wedding. Tens of amazing, gorgeous ladies of color wrapped in colorful, wide cut dresses go through the catwalk by the pool. I wished I owned each of them. I admire them either from the pool with my rain dropping over me or from my chair sipping my Mojitos.
In the thin rain, that sometimes became a true storm, I swam in the pool for more than 3 hours, clearing my head and arranging my thoughts, admiring the nature shown here at its very best and the local ladies night dresses as they walked to the wedding location.
At night we went to a revolving restaurant in the Golden Jubilee Tower, at 21st floor, with a wonderful view of the Indian Ocean Dar es Salaam shore.
Their website presents it as “Tanzania’s first and only revolving restaurant”. The seafood platter was simply amazing, let me say the best I ever had, tasty and with a 5 star presentation with lobser “moustaches” of 1 meter for each plate, king prawns, calamari, lobster, delicious vegetables and fish.
I personally tried a local white wine from a company called Dodoma and it was a good match for my dish. If you are ever there, don’t miss it!
***About each country I have ever visited I read something about their history, geography, interesting facts. Please discover with me the wonders of the world!
Dar in Romanian means “gift”. As a Kenyan colleague told me, since there was a wedding at the hotel, the gift brought to the new couple is called “dari”. Arab colleague said in his language dari means home.
The name of the country comes from Tanganyika and Zanzibar, resulting in Tanzania.
For sure, Tanzania is a country that has a lot to offer and one I want to explore more in depth in the future. Therefore, even though I’ve returned, I think this is just the beginning of my Tanzanian adventure.
Finally, another striking thing for m was Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere International Airport, one that looks like a big shed. As we are walking to the aircraft, I see small rooms, with scratched old paint. Inside one of these rooms there is a old, very scratched table where a man in uniform writes something by had in a notebook. There are no other objects in the room. Next to it, there is another room of same size with bunk beds and the door is made of bars. A man just woke up and is sitting on the bed. The view is pretty amazing and it definitely contrasts the luxury of some remote parts of Dar es Salaam.1