The Coastline and White Sand Beach
Just down the coast from Cape Town on the way to Camps Bay.
Still on our high from the fantastic safari, we looked forward to our stay in Cape Town, which is sheltered beneath the very recognizable shape of Table Mountain that we saw at last nights’ sundowner. Few cities in the world offer this beauty and style. Cape Town has three centuries of being the sea link between Europe and the East. The city has elegant Cape Dutch buildings, characterized by large whitewashed gables, many thatched roofs, shuttered windows, and imposing monuments to Britain’s imperial legacy. It is probably South Africa’s most urban, civilized city.
The Cape Peninsula is made up of a 44-mile tail of mountains that hangs down from the tip of Africa, ending at the Cape of Good Hope that we will see tomorrow. Within a short distance, the area is surrounded by 18th century Dutch manors, historic wineries and white-sand beaches. Much of the peninsula in the Table Mountain National Park extends around 25 miles from the city through to Cape Point. The mountain rises more than 3,500 feet above the city and the distinctive flat top is visible to sailors 40 miles out to sea.
The spectacular western edge of Table Mountain, known as the Twelve
Table Mountain from the Back
As we go down the coast road, we can look back and see Table Mountain with the cloud 'tablecloth' covering it.
Apostles, provides the backdrop for Camps Bay, a town with a long, sandy beach. About 45-minutes on the other side of the city are the historic winelands. They produce some of the finer South African wines. One of those cities is Stellenbosch, which was founded in 1685, and one that we will visit later today.
Not far off the coast is Robben Island, where the maximum-security prison is located that Nelson Mandela was prisoner for many years. There is a tour available that allows people to visit the island and see the cell of his imprisonment. That tour was cancelled today because of winds. In 1999, the island was declared a World Heritage site.
Well, this morning we were scheduled for the Cape Town and Table Mountain tour, which would have included a tour of town and cable car ride to the top of the mountain. Unfortunately, the high winds also cancelled our tour as the cable car system was closed. We could also see the ‘Tablecloth’, as they call it, where the top of the mountain is covered in clouds. So as an alternative they drove down the coast to Camps Bay and back up to Signal
A beautiful town along the sand beach.
Hill, where we had our sundowner last night. We then took a brief tour of the downtown. Cape Town is one of the cities that will host the upcoming 2010 World Cup. In less than 3 years, they have built an amazing new soccer (football) stadium in the downtown area that will hold 68,000 spectators. Unfortunately, they spent over $600 million US on the structure and have highway roads left half finished because they ran out of funds. During our drive through downtown, we saw a huge number of people waiting in line. This was the first day that Cape Town put special low cost tickets on sale only for South African citizens.
After returning to the ship, we prepared for a special world cruise event at one of the areas well known wineries, Blaauwklippen Vineyards, originally founded in 1682. We were bused there, had great wine tasting and light food, listened to several different musical entertainers and enjoyed our return ride to the ship in classic cars volunteered by the local car club. The owner of our 1956 Chevy gave us and another couple a brief tour of Stellenbosch on the way back to the ship. The car
Camps Bay from Above
Looking down over Camps Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
was in fine shape!
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