Sunday, June 10, 2012

#976 Cape Town, South Africa

Aerial photo from G Adventure

View from cable car depot on Table Mountain

View of Capetown and Table Mountain from Robben Island
Cape Town is known as South Africa's crown jewel -- such spectacular mountain and cliffs, its multicultural, sophisticated, with a good lifestyle and history to give it lots of stories to tell. The Cape of Good Hope was a spectacular end to a fascinating continent for the first European explorers. Portuguese Bartholomeu Dias and Vasco da Gama were the first ones, followed by the Dutch who introduced the first slaves to the area from Indonesia and Madagascar. Britain took over during the Napoleonic Wars and maintained the Cape Colony, only for it to become part of the Union of South Africa in 1910.

Table Mountain and Lion's Head from Signal Hill.
Cape Town is not on the Cape of Good Hope itself, that is an hour or so's drive south, seemingly straight into the vicious South Atlantic winds down the Cape Peninsula through the national park that covers most of the area. The Cape itself is Africa's most popular tourist attraction - an awe-inspiring place where nature appears unconquerable. 

Why is Cape Town so amazing? So beautiful, so much history, so many changes and adaptations to the world! So many different people sharing space and heritage.
A visit to Cape Town is a pilgrimage spot of sorts, where people come to see Robben Island in the middle of Table Bay, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years.
A visit to Cape Town is incomplete without a visit to the excellent District 6 Museum, which details events in Cape Town during the apartheid era. 

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