2010
08.15

Highlights

  • We decided we needed a little South African history lesson and spent the day at District six museum and Robben Island.

– District Six was a vibrant centre with close links to the city and the port, but by the beginning of the twentieth century the history of removals and marginalisation had begun – part of the apartheid movement. The first to be ‘resettled’ from District 6 were black South Africans, forcibly displaced from the District in 1901. As the more prosperous moved away to the suburbs, the area became the neglected ward of Cape Town. In 1966, it was declared a white area under the Group areas Act of 1950, and by 1982, the life of the community was over. 60 000 people were forcibly removed to barren outlying areas aptly known as the Cape Flats, and their houses in District Six were flattened by bulldozers. The museum was established in December 1994 and works with the memories of these experiences and with the history of forced removals.

- Later that afternoon we made our way to the waterfont for our ferry ride to Robben island. Indigenous African leaders, Muslim leaders from the East Indies, Dutch and British soldiers and civilians, women, and anti-apartheid activists, including South Africa’s first democratic President, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and the founding leader of the Pan Africanist Congress, Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, were all imprisoned on the Island. Robben Island has not only been used as a prison. It was a training and defence station in World War II, a hospital for people with leprosy, the mentally and chronically ill. Since 1997 it has been a museum and a heritage site, and mostly known as the prison that held Mandela for 18 yrs of his 27 yr imprisonment.

We were a little disappointed in this tour and felt that being in a tour group of over a hundred people took away the impact and emotion the island has. The tour did little justice to the strong history of Robben island. Although we did appreciate being shown around the grounds by an ex-political prisoner – Sparks – imprisoned in Section 29 for 7 yrs.

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  • Signal hill for Cape Town city lights. Our first view point of Cape town at night and we can see why so many have fallen in love with Cape Town. There are not many places you visit where the views are so bright and surrounded by mysterious mountains.

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  • Just 30 minutes away from the center of Cape Town are the Atlantis Dunes, 27 square kilometers of pure white sand dunes, reaching sometimes as high as a six storey building. We were breaking our bakkie in to the many sand dunes it will encounter over our tour of Africa – and with Nick getting air on it, we most definitely broke it in. We tried sand dunes at over 60 degrees in incline but Nick for sure had the best fun getting all four wheels off the sand and landing with a not so gentle thud. We’ve had to promise Nicks dad we’ll no longer try this move!


Things we about Cape Town !

-       All the amazing views of CT and view points. It doesn’t matter where you stand you are guaranteed an amazing view.

-       Meeting ppl like Francois and Lindy, who have only just met you but treat you like an old friend. Thanks for the advice, patience and time on the dunes.

-       Driving from the coast through winelands and countryside to find sand dunes in the middle of nowhere.

Oh, Cape Town, how do you manage to please everyone!

-       Missing a sunset. The sky after the sun has gone down is as magical as watching the sunset itself. So pink and orange over the dark blue seas.

PS – Pics are here

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