Explore Cape Town

Up a mountain down a beer

What's New — By thethirdpeacock on June 29, 2010 at 2:14 pm

For the first time in my life I actually felt like I was on top of the world – Andrew J. Rhodes

Jesus Christ Man, I saw the clouds and thought I had killed you all over again. – Paul D. Cosgrove

So, back in Cape Town after the nice relaxing trip to PE, what’s a boy to do. Well, for the first 4 days it was drink, eat, football, kayak, eat, football. Which was great but it had meant I hadn’t seen all the things you were supposed to see when you were in Cape Town, so, here we go.

Victoria and Albert Waterfront. Mostly regenerated waterfront containing Shop, cinemas and hotels. And for the world cup, 2 huge beer tents showing the football. I didn’t hang around long because this day wasn’t sposed to be about eating, drinking and football. The waterfront is very nice though, and is apparently the template around which the majority of waterfront / canal basins are modelled.

Oh my gosh I can't believe it, I've never been this far away from home.

Robben Island. Via the V&A Waterfront.

It is widely known throughout the western world that I think the finest tourist attraction in the world is the Alcatraz museum tour. Frankly the Robben island tour comes close.

Where it has Alcatraz beat is in that the Alcatraz tour is a self guided audio tour on earphones. Here on Robben Island the tour guides are the former political prisoners themselves.

The amount of information available on the tour is immense. Whether you are an apartheid rookie, or on a pilgrimage of the knowledgeable, you will come across details of the incarceration you didn’t know. Like Alcatraz, the island is being held in a state of stasis. While items are being restored, it is to their working condition, rather than shiny new.

Dave finds out 'first hand' how Morgan Freeman must have felt

The bus tour tasks you round the island to see the mines where the prisoners worked, the 2nd world war installations that were built (completed in 1947, take from that what you will) and the isolation wings where prisoners were kept for years and years without charge.

This is complimented by a tour of the maximum security facility, in which you get a feel for living conditions, but not to the extent that the Alcatraz tour immerses you in prison life. 

There was an almost concentration camp feel to the maximum security prison

Table Mountain

The other essential trip while in Cape Town is to the top of Table mountain. I was running out of light, and the weather forecast for the following day was (correctly) terrible, so I took a taxi to the bottom of the gorge and off I went. Paul correctly told me it was about an hour and 15 mins up the mountain.

Table Mountain towering over KaapStad, on the boat back from Robben Island

 What he didn’t mention was how freaking steep it was, and how the weather was going to close in around me. Passing an almost dead Korean woman, I finally made it to the top and was rewarded for my efforts. Up above the clouds the views, a mixture of land, cloud and sea were breathtaking. Cape town was tiny and silhouetted as the sun set, and the winds howling around only added to the majesty and power of it all.  All these clouds looked even more ominous from beneath the ‘table cloth’, and again apon returning home my friends were amazed I had survived unscathed.

'And the waves were clouds, and the clouds were waves'

Eat, drink and Football.

Ok, well the world cup was still on, so I went down to Rafiki’s, and excellent Dutch / Jamaican themed bar packed to the rafters of punters who saw Brazil down Chile. Thanks to Cameron for keeping me company, and helping me see off that collection of 20 year old’s trying to out drinking game us.

So I ended the day, slightly tipsy, not dead, and frankly on top of the world.

ps off to Spain Portugal now. Shame it’s raining but God I love my life.

pps Jsut found R800 in my shoe!

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