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  • Day92

    Cape Town, South Africa

    April 5, 2014 in South Africa ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    We arose at 6.45am to witness our arrival into Cape Town and what a sight. The sun was just appearing over the mountains and the sunlight reflected off Table Mountain, which dominates the city and the skyline. It was already 26C and the ship was accompanied by dolphins and seals. We had not booked a tour but took the shuttle bus to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront complex where we bought two two day tickets for the open top city tour bus at a cost of only £15 each. There are two routes, red and blue and we took the red route first. The bus took us round the major sights of the city and what a lovely city it is. Some interesting buildings and very clean. We then headed off to Table Mountain where we left the bus and bought two tickets for the cable car, costing £12 each return. The cable car takes only four minutes to travel to the top of the mountain and during the ride the floor rotates, enabling everybody on board to see all the views. A clever idea. The views from the top are stunning, particularly on the clear, sunny day that we had. From the top there is a good view of Robben island as well as the city and the coastline. We walked along pathways enjoying the whole experience before returning to the bottom by cable car to resume our tour of the city and the area on the red route. It took us along the coast to Camps Bay, a beautiful coastal resort, dominated by the Table Mountain chain and then followed the coast all the way back to the V&A Waterfront. It was a spectacular ride. We then wandered around the waterfront development which is very interesting and safe. It is full of craft shops, bars and restaurants, live entertainment and very lively. We headed back to the ship but would return the following day to travel the blue route.

    The following morning we returned to the waterfront and took the tour bus for the blue route. It was a beautiful day with deep blue sky and a temp of 26C but forecast to rise to 31C. The bus headed out of the city on a very scenic ride around Table Mountain and we disembarked at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, regarded as the second best botanical gardens in the world. The entry cost was the equivalent of £3 each. These gardens are magnificent with stunning views. We could have spent all day here wandering around, looking at all the plants and the scenery but we had a tight schedule to keep and so at midday, when it was becoming hot, we decided to leave and catch another bus to complete the route. It passed the vineyards of Groot Constantia, the oldest wine making centre in South Africa. Unfortunately, we did not have the time to take the wine tasting tour. We passed a memorial to Cecil Rhodes, Prime Minister of the Cape from 1890 to 1896. Further on, we came to the township of Imizamp Yethu and it was possible to take a tour of the township, which we would have liked to have done but we had to stay on the bus so we would not be late in returning to the ship. We drove along the coast again, passing Hout Bay and then Camps Bay before eventually returning to the waterfront and eventually the ship.

    Of all the cities we had visited thus far on our world cruise, Cape Town was the most beautiful and photogenic. We loved the city and the surrounding areas. We had seen an awful lot in just two days and have some wonderful memories.
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