Saw this sign outside the aquarium.
And the architecture is a grand mix of classic and modern.
In the Grand Parade, I noticed this statue being forced to endure quite an indignity.
The bus took us up to the bottom of the cable car run that carries people to the summit of Table Mountain. We did not go up that first day (though we did another day), but the location provided an excellent opportunity to catch Pat and Kathy against the backdrop of Cape Town and its harbor.
We then wound our way down into Camps Bay, which is apparently the hot spot to see and be seen. I do not know about that, but the surf was worth seeing.
As were the clouds that appeared to have been laid across the mountain range like a blanket.
The housing along this stretch of coast is definitely high density, but I would be willing to give it a try.
And we simply had to stop in Simon's Town to admire the African penguins. There is nothing quite like seeing such creatures in their natural habitat.
And in case you were wondering, penguins are as adorable as you think they are.
Along with being a geographical feature, Cape Point is also a nature preserve with views so stunning we had to pose in front of them.
At one stop during our investigation of the preserve, we caught sight of this Cape Sugarbird. (One of the more unexpected wonders of Southern Africa has been its birds.)
When we arrived at Cape Point lighthouse, we rode the funicular to the top.
But we eventually got the Point proper, which is the most southwestern point in Africa. There, some birds were enjoying the surf.
Then, some more traffic.
But ostriches and baboons were not the only wildlife we encountered at Cape Point, where - I must confess - I had not anticipated spotting any wildlife at all. In a field along the road we saw these bontebok.
And then we saw bontebok and ostriches relaxing seaside together. (Look closely. That little periscope at the front of the picture is an ostrich keeping a look out.)
They were grazing surprisingly close to us. There is no feeling like knowing that there is nothing between you and a beautiful, wild creature. There is no wall. There is no fence. You are just sharing its natural habitat. (I felt like a bit of an intruder, really.)
The bay itself was lovely.
And upon closer inspection it featured some fascinating birds: the African Sacred Ibis.
We enjoyed the food as well as the setting.
During the short drive from Camps Bay to our lodging in Cape Town, we were treated to one of the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen.
In the morning, we enjoyed breakfast in the tranquil back yard space at Verona Lodge.
Robben Island is most notable for its service as a prison island and is, in fact, where Nelson Mandela was held for 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment. Here, depicted in this photo mounted on a wall, are political prisoners arriving at Robben Island, where they could expect a harsh life of forced labor.
Educational tours are offered on Robben Island, which is now functioning as a museum and national preserve. Here, our guide is giving us a bit of the history of the place.
Before it was a prison, the island served as a leper colony. We passed a graveyard from that era on our tour.
One of the most remarkable locations on the tour is the quarry, where inmates endured their labor, but where they also met and talked in secret about their anti-apartheid cause, making plans for a better future.
Our guide was kind enough to let me out of the tour bus to take a picture of this sign, where Barack Obama apparently posed for a picture when he visited Robben Island while serving as a U.S. Senator.
An unexpected bonus to our visit to Robben Island was the views it afforded us of Cape Town and Table Mountain.
The white man on the motorcycle here is the only former Robben Island prison guard to return to work there now that it is an historical site.
Predominantly, though, the island is known for its most famous inmate, Nelson Mandela. Here is one of the cells he occupied during his term there.
The prison yard itself was, as one might imagine, bleak.
One of the most fascinating parts of the tour focused on Robben Island's less famous inmates. In many of the old cells, there was an object of some significance to the individual who had occupied that cell, along with a picture of the inmate. For example, this stapler was important to Thami Mkhwanazi because he used it to staple together pieces of paper for an informal newsletter he produced for his fellow prisoners.
Our guide for the prison portion of the tour was himself a former inmate, jailed on conspiracy charges by the former apartheid government of South Africa..
Just how deeply the racism permeated conditions at the prison was exemplified by this detailing of food rations.
After that we drove up to Signal Hill, where we were afforded a marvelous view of Robben Island.
And where Kathy and Pat were able to take their bearings.
That evening, we dined at Addis in Cape, an Ethiopian restaurant in the heart of Cape Town. The decor was, as I understand it, traditional Ethiopian. That is, it featured low chairs and tables which served as a common eating surface, since Ethiopian cuisine is properly enjoyed communally.
The ambiance felt like something out of old Hollywood, which I loved.
Of course, I could not resist capping off my meal with some traditional Ethiopian coffee.
The view looking up from the bottom of the cable car ride made the top look so small. (It is not.)
The vistas afforded by the top of Table Mountain were spectacular, to say the least.
We humans were not the only ones enjoying them. These rock dassies and lizards had found quite the spot to relax.
Eventually, though, we had to catch the cable car back down.