|The immense Intercape Bus which was our|
'mobile home' for the ride from PE to Cape Town.
The mountains run east and west along the Garden Route, rising straight up from the farms and vineyards. There is a sense of "Lord of the Rings" about this landscape. To the south was the Indian Ocean, stretching out for miles and miles.
We stayed at a wonderful home that Carol found through airbnb, overlooking the Atlantic, with Robben Island just off to the right of this view
|The view from our front terrace.|
|Along the city boardwalk.|
It's a fortress mentality, where signs like this on the gates to people's houses are pretty common. A lot of the whites we met weren't so sure we should go to places like Landsdowne, a suburb where we visited some people whom we'd met in Port Elizabeth. Botswana never had apartheid, and there is a relaxed atmosphere around race relations that is very different from what we experienced in our short visit to Cape Town. It will likely take generations for that to change.
After a day sitting on the bus, we wanted some exercise, and Table Mountain gave us that opportunity. Our bnb hostess drove us to the base of the tram, where we could have stood in line for 2 hours, but we walked on to the trail head and proceeded up an amazing, steep, and difficult trail. We are used to switch-backs, but this trail went straight up. The trail was a "stairway" of rough stones, every one different. And well worth the hard work...
|A moment of contemplation on the|
ascent up Table Mountain.
I asked how often they have to make flights like this to recue a woman who became dehydrated. The answer: three or four times a week! The trail appears benign, but it is very steep, very dry, and treacherous in places.
|Exhausted and happy, enough rigor for one day!|
On our final day in Cape Town, we were given an whirlwind tour by Norman Marcuse, the indefatigable father of a good friend of ours from Dickinson Law School days, Steve Marcuse. As a retired realtor, Norman knows every square cm of the Cape --- and it was a joy to see so much with someone who so loves the city and its environs.
|The estate of Groot Constantia founded in '85 ---|
that's 1865, and the oldest vineyard in South Africa.
Like everywhere we stopped, this place is well worth a lot more time - which was at a premium as Norman packed in 8 hours of sights in about a half a day! Not sure which was more incredible, his energy or the most beautiful surroundings....