Monday, June 19, 2006

Back to Cape Town

The guy from Europcar drove us down to Green Point and we checked into a cool hostel with really nice double rooms (The House On The Hill). Gemma was happy as the guy who runs it had a daft big alsation, which for some reason wanted to eat my shoes a lot. Everytime I walked past him he jumped on me. The Green Point area is quite cool, with some cool cafes and bars, plus it is not far from the Victoria & Albert Waterfront.

The V&A Waterfront is a quite touristy place, but nice with it, a bit similar to Darling Harbour in Sydney. We spent a bit of time down there. After the car break in we felt like we just wanted to be somewhere safe and touristy for a while. We managed to see a cool band, The Rudimentals, playing in a CD shop there. The Waterfront also has a group of seals that have made their homes on the jetties and man made structures of the harbour. Both me and Gemma love seals, so we spent a fair bit of time just watching them play in the harbour.

In all we spent another 6 nights in Cape Town. Acting like the complete tourists, we managed to get in some more activities. A trip to Robben Island is kind of a must whilst in Cape Town. It's the prison island on which Mandella spent 18 years of his imprisonment. The trip round it is very interesting and informative and you get shown round the actual cells by a former prisoner. Our guide had been in Umkhonte We Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the military wing of the ANC and had been imprisoned for blowing up an intelligence station. It was quite moving to hear his story, although slightly marred (once again) by the annoying self importance of a bunch of American tourists. I'm sure not all American tourists are like this, but I would like to say:-the world does not belong to you, everyone else has an equal right to look at things and listen to the guide, and nobody cares about your loudly shouted opinions.

We also went to the aquarium. Not the best one I have been to, but reasonably interesting. Seeing the cloud lift slightly, but not completely over Table Mountain we decided to chance it and go up in the cable car. The view on the way up (and down) was brilliant, but the top was still just shrouded in cloud. I quite liked it anyway, as it gave the mountain a very otherworldly feel to it. I could have imagined myself on a Star Trek set. The next day of course there wasn't a cloud in the sky, which I guess proves that sods law applies.

1 comment:

Bong said...

Hi Gemma and Tom!!

I caugt your "tales" of travel while doing obscure research!! I am the bass player of the band you saw in Cape Town, for The Ska Band, "The Rudimentals".

Thanks for visiting our country, I (from reading your posts,) do understand your confusion at the fact that there are lots of contrasts and divides that still exist here.

We experience and live it every day, but that is what makes South Africa so unique, is the fact that there is a huge population demographic and psychographic difference, which is part and parcel of the history of this country.

Anyway, that being said, yes, there are some really beautiful places here, most of which I'm sure you have not seen yet, obviously, but, I just wanted to say "Hi!", and if you want to contact me, you may do so at, or visit our band website at (the site is being overhauled, but you can still catch the basics there.