Out of Africa 2 -Cape Town and Robben Island

The Victoria and Alfred Waterfront at Cape Town was as lively and as cosmopolitan as everyone had told me it would be. We were lucky that our hotel 'The Table Bay' sat right on the waterfront, minutes away from all the bars and restaurants.
 

It's a beautiful, modern development and I enjoyed visiting it very much.
We didn't just sit eating and drinking - although we did a bit of that! The food is good, the beer is great and the wine is, well, excellent.
We toured around Cape Town itself and the surrounding areas. 


Once you get out of the city there are some fabulous beaches.









We didn't manage to get up Table Mountain.
A clear view as we sailed in.
Although the top was clear when we arrived, the 'table cloth' soon came down.  However we had plenty of other things to keep us busy



The table cloth descends
Four famous South Africans including Mandela and Desmond Tutu.


High on our list of 'must do' was to visit Robben Island, the prison that housed Nelson Mandela for eighteen years.
You need to book a ticket well in advance and be prepared for days when the sea is too choppy and the ferry won't sail.  This is difficult when you're only there for three days.  Fortunately on the third day we made it across.
After disembarking from the ferry, you are ushered into coaches for the last few minutes to the prison. This prison was only for political prisoners.To be honest I could have walked it but it didn't seem to be an option.
At the prison gates, we had quite a long talk by a former inmate. He told us about his own experience: arrest, torture and incarceration.


While interesting the sun was very hot and there was no shade. I think most of us were glad to go inside, where it was cooler.
We were taken to one of the communal cells that a number of prisoners shared. He told us about life there and how they managed to outwit the guards.
A communal cell.
Mandela's cell


Classes were given in politics and current affairs, by some of the prisoners to the others.  They threw covers over the spy cameras in the cells.
Mandela would write notes, which could be surreptitiously passed around.
I was disappointed that we weren't given the opportunity to wander around, by ourselves, and look at some of the photographs and information boards that were there.
After a brief visit, we were back on the bus for a tour of the island and to see the limestone quarry where the prisoners were forced to work. I hadn't realised that there was another prison on the island which housed convicted criminals.
So after a fascinating three days we were taken to the airport for our flights to Victoria Falls. We were going to the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.  More of that later...

7 comments:

  1. Fascinating! Sounds like an amazing trip.

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  2. Those beaches look amazing and the trip to Robben Island sounds interesting, although it's a shame you weren't able to linger and explore it for yourselves. I suspect the next set of visitors were hot on your heels!

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    2. We were the last trip out for that day, so perhaps that shortened it. The beaches did look stunning. We'd planned to go back to one of them but ran out of time.

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  3. Would love to visit Cape Town, and Robben Island sounds fascinating.

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  4. Wow it is fab though not sure I would like to go to Robben Island. We did a show on Alcatraz once and it was a horrid place. Such vibes!! You have had a wonderful experience. Love your photos and info.

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Welcome Regency Historical author Heather King.

I’m very pleased to welcome author Heather King to my blog. Heather writes historical novels set in the Regency period. Also, under the nam...