Monday, April 19, 2010

WC 2010 Exploring Capetown

Our drive into Capetown had been late in the evening. So right after breakfast, my mother and I visited the Crystal hospitality desk for our Capetown information. We were delighted to find out that Tony, our driver from the previous night, was available to take us on a half-day tour.

Tony Staadecker was a marvelous guide. Delightful and personable, he showed us more than just the regular "touristy" spots, pointing out landmarks that would be of interest to history buffs like my mom and me.

He took us up Signal Hill just in time for the noonday gun.

Then over to the “other side” of Table Mountain and Lion’s Head to an overlook high above Camps Bay.

Who should we see coming into port but Crystal Serenity.

He then showed us the beautiful beaches of Clifton Beach and Bantry Bay. We drove all along this scenic coastline back toward Capetown.

Tony then drove us around town, showing us the old Parliament buildings,

the Fort,

explaining to us about apartheid, showing “District Six” where so many were forced from their homes during apartheid.

Colored and Black housing (conveniently located across from the factories where they worked) was torn down and non-whites were resettled in the suburbs.

In the hills of Capetown is the old Malay quarter, or Bo-Kaap as it is called today. It has become a trendy place to live, with many colorful homes, steep streets and lots of night spots.

I never expected to see a mint-green mosque!

Or such steep streets!

We then visited the Cecil Rhodes Memorial in the hills above the University of Capetown.

Whilst there, we enjoyed watching a team of stunt pilots practice.

Tony finished his incredibly tour by dropping us off at the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain. But not before pointing out the hospital where Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant in 1967.

The views were un-believable.

These little guys are called Dassie (or rock hydrax)

Robben Island, Nelson Mandela's prison home for over 25 years.

This little guy stayed still long enough for me to snap a few photos

And Mama got one of me!

We arrived back at the Mount Nelson Hotel in time for tea, a walk around the hotel, and a brief rest- we didn’t seem to be bothered too much by jetlag- and then enjoyed a WONDERFUL dinner at the Cape Colony Restaurant in the hotel. It was superb.

Service impeccable, food wonderful. I had ostrich and a wonderful bottle of Chardonnay (Meerlust 2007). Mama had scallops and “crayfish” – the latter being a tail about 4 inches long. Crawfish on steriods?

Long day—even LONGER one tomorrow….so it was off to bed!

No comments: