Today was Cape Town orientation day with free time in the afternoon. There were a couple of optional tours offered in the afternoon but I had a determined plan. After the long flight yesterday, William suggested we go up to Table Mountain as it often wasn't as clear of cloud as what it was that day. No way for us tired selves. Tomorrow we will see it.
After the hotel buffet breakfast, we were collected by our coach with the driver who would be with us for most of the stay. He drove us up to Signal Hill, stopping off a couple of times where there were good viewing spots. Four geographic features dominate the Cape Town skyline, Signal Hill, Lions Head, Devils Peak and Table Mountain.
Flat lands down below. Can you see some brightly coloured houses below?
Towards the port.
Looking inland. It is not looking good for our visit this afternoon to Table Mountain.
I don't think local people are very fond of the pepper pot towers, aka salt pepper and mustard, or Tampon Towers.
While there wasn't a lot to photograph as we were driven around District 6, there was plenty to learn. It was decided under the apartheid regime that the area inhabited by mostly poor black people was needed for white people to live. Blacks were at times given only ten minutes notice to collect their possessions and leave. Some were rehoused later, but most were not. Cape Town is very cosmopolitan. Africans generally were not used as slaves here, but slaves were imported from the Indian subcontinent, Malaya and Indonesia. There is still a strong Muslim influence among the local population. Yes, there are many areas like this, some better and some much worse.
Moving on, we stopped off in a large car park opposite the town hall and set off on foot. There were some stunning buildings.
The Cape Town Town Hall was superb.
It could have been a protest underway but more likely a film was being shot about a protest at the town hall.
The National Mutual Life Association of Australasia Ltd.
This is the building where personal race matters were decided. You may look white or mostly white, but white people have very different jaws to black people, and the matter was decided here, with jaw measurements and other methods, as required.
This piece of history has been retained. Have a rest on a seat, but choose the right seat, or you will be in trouble. Just too horrible.
We are now in the Company Gardens, a central park in Cape Town, so called after what we call the Dutch East India Company. Cape Town was settled by the company in 1652. Afrikaans has another name for it. It was a nice restful place as the weather that day warmed to about 25 degrees.
An Australia tree. The Australian Eucalyptus is found everywhere we went in South Africa.
While it has been somewhat relieved, there is a water crisis in parts of South Africa, especially Cape Town, so fountains were off. There was signage everywhere to conserve water.
Out of order, but our visit to Table Mountain is not looking promising.
Lions Head or Devils Peak peeking up in the background.
We then drove on further to where we has spied the coloured houses earlier. Brilliant. We walked a few streets.
Movie making was underway.
A very steep street with very old paving for horses to grip what carting loads up the hill.
We were then driven down to the V&A Waterfront, a busy area with lots of bars, restaurants and shops. I wrongly assumed V&A stood for Victoria and Albert, but no, it was Victoria and Alfred. We could have our own lunch at the waterfront or go back to the hotel. After some indecision, R and myself hopped back on the coach and returned to the hotel. I was busy looking at the Table Mountain website for weather conditions. It was not looking too good.