22
Feb
10

Cape Town: 34 S, 18 E


of Africa
Just before landing: here’s the view from the Emirates 777 about to land in Cape Town. That’s the white sand beaches of the coast of Africa with the mountains surrounding Cape Town in the distance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Taxiing up to the jetway in the airport at Cape Town….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first foot we step into Africa is in the Cape Town, South Africa airport.  Minutes after clearing the pleasant and easy customs/immigration we ran into a lady who dogged our every step for the next 6.5 weeks.  Actually she became our good friend and we hers, spending the entire time in Cape Town before we focused on the trip in Benji, the truck in our Africa-in-Focus tour:  three weeks from Cape Town up through Namibia, turning into Botswana where the Number One Ladies Detective Agency hangs out or so we’d heard and on to Victoria Falls, thence east and north to Tanzania.


We shared the owner Gary’s ride back to the B&B, the Bellevue Manor, which maybe isn’t quite as grand as one might think – perfectly comfortable and reasonably priced. It’s a twisty little maze of old houses ratcheted together into a great many rooms and no overriding sense of architecture. I have not a single picture of the interior and barely one of the exterior of the building. Chalk it up to jetlag.

Cape Town is a gem of a city: sandwiched between the cold, deep blue Indian Ocean and a range of mountains behind. 3.5 Million people live in a prosperous looking, modern city with wide streets, clean and, as far as we could see, bearing no scars of the troubled past.



School kids crossing the street. Maybe the lady with the flowing blue dress is their teacher and the man on the left is very intently talking to the man standing next to him who seems not to pay attention. The signs and the language are all Afrikaans. We’re looking down on them from the top of the double decker city tour bus.

 

 

 

 

 

Geographically, geologically the city is stunningly situated: Table Mountain rises 3500′ or nearly 1100 m. over the city and the deep blue waters. Cape Town wraps around Table Mountain and presents visitors with 270 degrees of ocean front.
Nicely provided for viewing is the cable car, a breathtaking ride to a very windy place. Glad we took our jackets! The view is out over the bay to Robben Island and south toward the Antarctic. Probably that’s the origin of South Africa’s penguins (unseen by us).

 

 

 

 

Downtown streets: Mama Africa’s nightspot on the right. Downtown: new cars, well-dressed people, businesses occupied, sidewalks full. Everything was as is should have been. South Africa, if represented by the streets of Cape Town was the most prosperous country we visited of the seven. The most prosperous came first and the poor came later. Easy to point the camera and snap a shot of ease – not so with poverty.

 

 

Nicely provided for viewing is the cable car, a breathtaking ride to a very windy place. Glad we took our jackets! The view is out over the bay to Robben Island and south toward the Antarctic. Probably where South Africa’s penguins (unseen by us) come from. There is a trail up the side of Table Mountain – not for the faint or weak of heart. We paid the rand and rode up in 10 minutes having ridden the city tour bus to this point. Great vistas and a must do if you go to Cape Town.

 

 

 

 

 

Although Cape Town is exactly as far below the equator as Los Angeles is above it, it felt much cooler even though there are palm trees in both – more like San Francisco to us. Cape Town is much the prettier place than the LA, IMO and feels more like SFO, being on the water and lovely architecture preserved from the time of colonialism.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are pictures of Cape Town – Using one of the two red city tour buses we visited the botanical garden, bird world, the waterfront, and Robben Island (separate post).

CLICK on pictures below to enlarge and USE YOUR BROWSER’S BACK button to return to view MORE PICTURES.

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8 Responses to “Cape Town: 34 S, 18 E”


  1. 1 Marjorie Ratner
    March 7, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    The photos are fine! How do plants grow in so many structures and forms?
    Were the ibis and boobies (blue-footed?) in a refuge? Just that tame? We walked among several species of boobies in the Galapagos–all sleek and sculptures in their own right.
    I think I’m getting the way to respond to these, working backwards of course.

  2. 2 Bonnie
    March 2, 2010 at 5:23 am

    “Bird World” … here all this time I thought you turned into an awesome photographer!

    Regardless…I’m really enjoying your travels. You are doing an excellent job of bring your readers along. Sorry to here of your “wrap-around” struggles. I have incorporated a blog on my croquet website and when I have technical troubles I frequently find answers on the technical forums. I used iWeb, easy to use and update, but then you need a Mac 🙂

  3. 3 barbara
    February 25, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    Terry, I’m loving the trip so far. We had one of those pin cushion protea’s in our front yard when we were in Cape Town; I had to ask the neighbors what it was. I’m looking forward to our next excursion.

  4. February 24, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Terry,

    I’m loving your postings–the pictures take my breath away and your prose makes me feel I’m right along for the ride. I appreciate your work on this project; must be like learning a new language in some ways. I will show your blogs to my kids and grands.They will be impressed. Maybe you should publish..what folks have to pay for is valued more highly than what they get for free. Funny that; but I think part of the reason people tend not to respond.
    jude

  5. 5 Rob
    February 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Hi Terry

    Well, this latest version is great – a huge improvement. I could not quite comprehend the last one you sent us.

    To be really picky, perhaps some dates should be inserted as you move through the trip. Date at heading shows today’s date, not when the trip occured. Text has been repeated – “Cape Town is a gem of a city …..” Rob and Chris are missing (believed intoxicated) from the meal photo – where was that taken?

    Keep up the good work – we are enjoying reminiscing.

    • February 24, 2010 at 6:33 am

      Rob,
      I will take that putting the date up question seriously. Certainly wouldn’t hurt but more work for poor overloaded me. If you knew how many times I tried to get that “wraparound” text of pictures to work, you would not be surprised by anything. Man! Is that touchy! Getting the text in is no problem and getting it to wrap around something is no problem but getting the text to line up with the images is beaucoup difficult – probably easy if I could find the way to provide vertical spacing. The way I do it is prone to break and hard to get right or even viewable. Check the previous posts where there was just image-text, image-text: that’s fairly simple.

      I’m still learning about WordPress s/w and it’s often a struggle. Thanks for the kind words, buddy!
      -Terry

  6. 7 Ray
    February 23, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Prior to reading this blog I was looking at the pictures in the other one and wondering how the heck you got to see all of those different birds……….I see you cheated and went to “Bird World”. The same holds true for the flowers, but I’m enjoying all of this just the same.

    I can see the cable car was a great experience and what a view.

    • February 23, 2010 at 1:44 am

      Ah, Ray! You impatient lad, you! Just wait and there will be ostriches, ibises, hornbills, lovebirds and kory bustards and his littler friend the black breasted bustard running all over the place. We did see and photograph birds in Bird World, only one of which I consider to be a decent shot, that of the two gentle boobies. Still, that scarlet ibis is a beaut! Thanks for the comment. The next post on Robben Island will have some nice, wild black and white ibises for you.

      We nearly didn’t have time for the cable car and there were so many things to do in Cape Town that we missed the penguins and the township tour. Must go back!


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