Back in the Mother City Again

I’m so happy to be back in Cape Town, South Africa – this is my fourth visit, and I’m excited to have Craig meet my friends and see all the sights with me.  We’ve been here ten days so far, and here’s what we’ve been up to.

We’re staying in an Airbnb apartment in Zonnebloem, in the Cape Town City Bowl, right in the heart of things. We’re on the eighth floor, and although the place is very small and has a few flaws, I cannot fault the view.  Lion’s Head on one side, the city on the other, and Table Mountain from the roof.  We’ve been waiting for just the right day to take the cable car to the top of the mountain, but today isn’t it – there are gale force winds up there, and the park is closed.

We’ve been doing a lot of wandering around the city, going out every day for a little walk or coffee, maybe meeting up with friends for dinner and some music.  Here are some of the distinctive sights and people we’ve bumped into.

IMG_0053

IMG_0060

This performance troupe was busking at the entrance to The Company’s Garden, a lovely botanical garden that dates its beginning to 1644. Their outfits and beadwork identified them as Xhosa. The girls kept the rhythm along with the drummer by stomping their feet, and making their ankle bracelets rattle.  These were cleverly made of recycled aluminum cans.IMG_0071

In St. George’s Mall, we came upon a piece of the Berlin Wall that was gifted to Nelson Mandela in 1996. The inscription below the wall describes in detail the situation in East Berlin prior to the removal of this barrier.  If you click on the photo it will enlarge so that you can read the plaque.

IMG_0019IMG_0018

Here are photos of a couple of other interesting snippets of life in the City Bowl: a vintage arm-wrestling platform (the plaque shows very specific rules!), St. John’s Methodist Church, and some great street art.

IMG_0012

IMG_0030

 

IMG_0021IMG_0027

We took a day trip to Robben Island, the notorious holding spot of political prisoners who were arrested during the apartheid regime. (If you are unfamiliar with the history of this policy of institutionalized racism, click here for a brief description. It is important to be familiar with apartheid and its abolition, as this is a key piece of the current situation in SA.)

Robben Island is 4.3 miles off the coast, and less than 2 square miles. Nelson Mandela spent 18 years of a 27 year prison sentence on this island. Tours are conducted by former prisoners, when possible, or newly trained guides as the former prisoners age. Our guide on this day was jailed for 7 years, after being charged with terrorism, subversion and the like. He described to us the torture methods that were used during his interrogation, which I will spare you, and showed us a chart that itemized the food prisoners were given on a daily basis. This too was determined according to race, with Bantus, black people, receiving less than mixed race people. It is hard to comprehend the kind of intentional cruelty that went into every aspect of life on this island prison – indeed, toward all aspects of life in the whole country. Robben Island was closed in 1996, and has since been declared  a South African National Heritage Site as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

IMG_0113IMG_0097IMG_0115IMG_0099It was a relief to get back on the ferry and return to shore. The launch point for the tour is the Victoria & Albert Waterfront. When I first visited Cape Town in the 90’s, it was just a couple of shops and a few restaurants. Now it is a jumping place – loads of shopping, restaurants, art, a kiddie train, outdoor sculptures, street performers, and more.  It’s a fun place to spend an afternoon, especially on the off season, when it’s not too hot and crowded.

IMG_0358
A view of the waterfront with Table Mountain in the background.

IMG_0353

IMG_0388
Doylestown has mules; Cape Town has rhinos.

IMG_0371

IMG_0387
South Africa`s four Nobel Peace Prize Laureates: the late Nkosi Albert Luthuli, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, former State President FW de Klerk and former President Nelson Mandela.

Right next to the waterfront is Oranjezicht City Farm Market, a foodie paradise.  We nibbled our way through the place, and brought home lots of goodies as well.  We were surprised to learn that the olives were grown locally. Plus flowers – so beautiful!

IMG_0327IMG_0306IMG_0307IMG_0318IMG_0288

IMG_0283

IMG_0278

IMG_0272
Although the blue, purple, and hot pink flowers are dyed, the red ones in the upper right are natural.

IMG_0270

IMG_0276

The beautiful protea is the national flower of South Africa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thus far we have only been to one beach spot, to admire the sunset while waiting to meet a friend for dinner.  Sea Point has a nice pavilion with plenty of seating, which is great for watching the waves and birds. We were fascinated by the paragliders sailing above the beach.  Nope, not trying it! After sunset, we walked one block up hill from the beach to Mojo Market, which is a very fun place to get food and drink of any kind, plus there is live music several times a week.

IMG_0191IMG_0213IMG_0247

I’ll be back soon with more of beautiful Cape Town. Meanwhile, I’m going to go plan a safari!

7 thoughts on “Back in the Mother City Again

      1. Ofcoarse 🙂

        Donna could you please contact me privately as there is a matter I’d like to resolve. I am the owner of Hi5 Paragliding in Cape Town and I received a 1 star review from Craig Hammel a day or two a go on my Google Business Account.

        My contact details are +27 72 190 1711. I’m on whatsapp. I think it might have been by accident.

        Like

      2. Oh my goodness! My husband did indeed do that by mistake. We couldn’t delete the one star review, so we changed it to five stars. So sorry for that! Paragliding looks lovely – I’ll recommend you to my kids! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Haha no worries at all thanks Donna. Seems you guys got it sorted. But please come and look us up. We have flown people in their 90s before, so we’ll be waiting for you guys 😉 ! Enjoy the adventures, and if you guys need anything or get stuck somewhere. Please feel free to contact us.

    Kind Regards
    Hi5 Team
    https://hi5paragliding.co.za

    Like

Leave a Reply to Ruard de Bruyn Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s