As we began our second day in Cape Town, South Africa we decided to see just see the city itself. I want to jump into the photos right away, so if you’ll look at the photo album above titled "Cape Town, South Africa – Day 2" we can get started. The first photo shows the sightseeing bus we took for our city tour. The second photo gives you an idea of the bus tour route, so if you will pause the map I’ll give you a brief overview. We started in the harbor, which shows as 1 or 2 in the upper right hand corner. We then went into the city, drove around the major sites and headed up to the cable car stop on Table Mountain. That brown area near the bottom of the map is Table Mountain and that little blue and white circle (stop 13) is the cable car stop. From there we went back down Table Mountain and headed down to the coast. We then traveled for miles along the coast/beaches back to our harbor (stops 1 & 2) and the ship. That’s the overall route now let’s follow it with pictures.
The third photo shows you the South African version of an Irish Pub with what else but a green building. The fourth photo is a typical street and I want you to notice the building on the right which is beautifully finished with columns, etc. The city was very clean and freshly painted, probably for the World Cup in June/July, but in any case the building architecture was worth seeing. The fifth photo is a domed building and I’m not sure if this is a church, but it probably is. The sixth photo is the entrance to the famous "Mount Nelson Hotel". If you are anybody you stay at the Mount Nelson when you’re in Cape Town. They have an afternoon tea that they say is special. Sorry I couldn’t take you inside, but we went whizzing by in our red bus and that was the best I could get. The seventh photo shows the front of an old fort that guarded the harbor many years before. I think they call it the "Castle of Good Hope" now but to me it was just an old fort. The eighth photo is of a stately building, probably government, and that ends our city center tour as the bus began to climb up the side of Table Mountain. When we finally arrived at the Cable stop, we were able to get out and stretch our legs. The ninth photo shows you a panoramic view of the city, with Signal Hill on the left, the harbor straight ahead, and the foothills of Table Mountain on the right. I just turned around and took the tenth photo showing the top of Table Mountain from the cable car stop. Unfortunately we couldn’t go up to the top of Table Mountain because the cable car wasn’t running (shut down because of wind). Up until this time, as you can tell from the photos, Susy and I had been sitting downstairs in the bus to keep out of the wind. As we got on board at the cable stop, however, Susy said she wanted to sit upstairs on the open deck, so up we went. In the eleventh photo you see us starting down the back of Table Mountain and approaching the beautiful beach area of Cape Town. As we arrived below the twelfth photo shows a panoramic view of the back side of Table Mountain and although it looks like faces carved in some of those cliffs it’s all natural. When you turn around and look down the beaches (13th photo) all you can do is say "Wow", this view equals the best of the best worldwide. All along the road across from the beaches are places (cafes, bars, etc) like you see in the fourteenth photo (I bet these places really swing day and night). Before we get back to the city harbor let’s take one more look down the coast (15th photo). How’s that for a view? I won’ bore you with any more beach photos as the bus passed no less than five large bays like the ones you saw. Arriving back at the harbor, the bus made the mistake of pulling up in front of a Craft Market Place at our last stop. You should be good at guessing what’s next: Susy hails us to follow her in to the market (16th photo) and there you can follow her as she shops for beads, etc. (17th photo). Outside the market and in this harbor area we came to a monument for South Africa’s four Nobel Peace
Prize winners (18th photo): Albert Luthuli (1960), Desmond Tutu (1984), FW de Klerk (1993) and Nelson Mandela (also 1993). Statues of the four men (19th photo) marked the square in their honor. In the twentieth photo you see beautiful Susy in front of the beautiful harbor. Of course on our last day Susy had to take a stroll through the large Victoria shopping center (21st photo). On the way out we ran across the official World Cup mascot "Zakumi" (22nd photo for sign and 23rd photo for mascot). We had
a little over an hour before the last shuttle so we started walking back across the waterfront and the twenty-fourth photo shows the waterfront with Table Mountain (and its cloud table cloth) in the background. The twenty-fifth photo shows the waterfront tower where we were yesterday evening and on the left of the tower you see an open-air restaurant. We just crossed that foot bridge when our Latin friends came walking in the opposite direction and so in the twenty-sixth photo you see us all sitting around a table in that restaurant (yours truly, Trish, Sergio, Susy, Jorge, and Diane). They had talked us into having dinner and watching the Sun go down. In the twenty-seventh photo you see the Sun set behind the tower and to really end a wonderful day we turned around toasted with our wine and watched one of the most beautiful sunset reflections (28th photo) we had ever seen. That ended the day and our visit to Cape Town as we rushed and caught the last shuttle back to the ship.
I want to close Cape Town by saying that Susy and I have marked this down as a city to re-visit. It doesn’t quite surpass Sidney but it is very close. We didn’t have a lot of contact with South African’s, so it’s hard to judge the people, but the beauty and splendor of the mountains, rolling country, and beaches is amazing.
I also want to add at this point in my blogs that Susy keeps saying I should say they are co-authored by her. She bases her claim on the fact that once in a great while she helps me finish a sentence or spell a word (when she is around). I will leave it up to you whether she deserves that status and continue to sign them as follows:
Next Port Elizabeth, give me a few days,
Love You All,
Gary (alias Gagu)