Cape Town and Table Mountain
“Cape Town? …you’ll LOVE it!” This was the standard reaction when telling people I was going for a fleeting visit.
I have to admit, I had high expectations!
Well, my fellow Cape Town advocates, you weren’t wrong and only after 2 action packed days, I really LOVE Cape Town!
First stop – Table Mountain, of course. You really don’t appreciate just how high this is until you’re swiftly nearing the summit in the cable car, your ears have popped several times and the ground is rapidly dropping away beneath you. The view is simply spectacular, in every direction. We were very lucky with the weather, although windy (and freezing cold) the mountain stayed open for our group long enough to enjoy one of the short walks, be amazed by the views, take lots of pics, have a quick shop and warm up with a coffee and muffin at the café. A visit to table Mountain is an absolute MUST, but is subject to the weather conditions on the day, so my advice if you don’t have long in Cape Town – intend on visiting earlier in your stay, rather than later.
The Castle of Good Hope is full of history and is the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa, definitely worth a visit, especially with a guided tour to appreciate it. Legend has it, you’re never alone at the castle, there are several ghosts that haunt the corridors and grounds... spooky!
Time for a much anticipated visit to the Waterfront for some lunch. The Waterfront has so much to offer – restaurants (over 80 eateries to choose from), shops, markets, kids activities, regular concerts and open air cinemas- all with a relaxed atmosphere and a very cool vibe. This is my kind of place and can’t help thinking that my kids would love it too! As amazing as some of the restaurants look, there’s too much to see and too much atmosphere to soak up, so we opt for a tasty fresh deli sandwich and a casual seat in the open air theatre – lovely!
Robben Island is another must visit. Be sure to book in advance because this tour is so popular. Robben Island is where Nelson Mandela spent 27 years of his life imprisoned, part of the tour takes you right past his tiny cell containing the small table and red bucket.
The start of the tour takes you on a bus trip around the island where you learn how the island was not only used as a prison; during WWII it was used for a hospital for people with leprosy and the mentally and chronically ill. During part of this time, political and common-law prisoners were still kept on the Island. Only since 1997 has the Island been open as a museum and heritage site. The guide on our bus was excellent, extremely knowledgeable and very engaging, this place clearly has a big impact on him.
After the bus we enter the prison itself, led by an ex-political prisoner, speaking first-hand about how the prison worked. You could hear a pin drop in the room as she spoke and you just can’t quite imagine what these prisoners went through. A very moving and sombre experience.
We’re short on time this visit and with so much more to explore, this has just been a taste of Cape Town for us. Our whole group is determined that there will be a “next time”!
AUTHOR: Rachel Mackenzie, Adventure World.
GET THERE: Adventure World Travel offer a range of tailor-made tours through Cape Town and South Africa. For more information contact us on AU: 1300 295 049 /NZ: 0800 238 368 or AU: CLICK HERE / NZ: CLICK HERE
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