Sunday, September 09, 2007

Cosmopolitan Cape Town

Before arriving in Cape Town, everyone we spoke to said we would love it. And we did. Cape Town has it all: a cosmopolitan city set between a beautiful waterfront,towering Table Mountain and a short drive away from the Wine Country where we took a tour of three wineries. We had a wonderful day sampling some pretty terrific S. African wines....

We stayed at the Portswood Hotel, right at the famous V&A Waterfront and so we were able to enjoy the water, boats, fantastic restaurants, shops, a terrific aquarium, and movie theatres.

A highlight was taking a tour of Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his 27 years imprisonment. It was humbling having ex-political prisoners take us on a tour and in graphic detail describe what it was like. What was even more moving, was the fact they do not hold bitterness for the wrongs that were done to them. They spoke of the triumph of living in a post-apartheid era and how life is getting better.
Our bellman at the hotel shared his story of how in 1961 his family was displaced from Township #6 when it was declared "white". He then smiled and said the new government has built housing for those affected and he will be moving into his new home in March 2008. Now, at age 61, he says he wants to die where he was born.

And while you only have to read a newspaper to grasp there are still many serious problems in S. Africa, the over-riding message I heard in the papers, on TV, and those we talked to ---- was they all felt a deep pride in their country and most of all – hope.

1 comment:

Brad and Anette said...

Your safari, lodge and time in capetown looked absolutely amazing guys. Great pictures to boot. We're thinking of you both!

p.s the picture of dad with the elephants was crazy!