Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Long Road Home (by Juli)

We woke up at 4:30 to make our 6:00 flight out of Zanzibar. As Todd noted, I forgot to close the mosquito net, so I woke up with about 30 mosquito bites. Todd had less than 10. I even had 4 on my face. It was going to be a rough day for me.

We arrived in Nairobi, Kenya and found a driver for the day. We had pretty much exhausted all the touristy things to do in the city on our previous visit so we figured we would spend a portion of the 15 hour layover buying underwear and watching movies, so we asked the driver to take us to a shopping mall that had a movie theater. Laundry wasn't as readily available as we thought during our trip and we had to make an emergency purchase at the mall. There were only two movies playing, Hancock and Prince Caspian: Chronicles of Narnia. I was excited about Hancock and wanted to pass on Narnia; however, we really had nothing better to do.

We had our final African meal at the mall, the very Swahili cuisine of pasta and chicken tacos - believe it or not, the tacos were actually really good (avacados are curiously popular in Africa...definitely not something we expected). After passing about 9 hours at the mall we headed back to the airport around 7:00pm. It took us a few tries to find a taxi driver who would take us to the airport for 1250 Kenyan Shillings (about $20), which was literally all the money we had left in our wallets at the end of the day, but we found a willing driver. We were counting on the airport having a business class lounge so we could get a free dinner, and we were rewarded. After getting enough free food to fill our bellies, we boarded the plane and went to sleep. From Nairobi, we went to Zurich and then on to Frankfurt (about 10 hours of flying). Luckily for everyone around us, we were able to check in to the hotel room early so that we could shower before hitting the town. We had lunch and then went on a three hour walking tour of Frankfurt. I think we saw everything there is to see in Frankfurt, so we headed to the bars. We tried some apple wine and numerous hefeweizen, but mostly we just watched the German men in their tank tops, capri pants and fanny packs.

On Saturday morning we headed to the airport for the last legs home; Frankfurt to Dulles to LAX to SFO. I couldn't wait to be home. My bug bites were killing me and I had a stomach bug. In africa, we ate at the night market and on the mountain ate food cooked by a guy that hadn't showered in 6 days, but we didn't get sick from the food until we ate in Germany. My stomach is still a little off. We finally made it home at 9:30 pm on Saturday July 12 - we left Zanzibar around 8:00pm PDT on Wednesday July 9, so it was a long trip home. We took nice long showers, did some badly needed laundry, and hung up our packs until next time...

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