Robben Island and Table Mountain
28.06.2010 - 26.06.2010 17 °C
Beautiful clear day. Down to Mandela Gateway for ferry ride across Table Bay to Robben Island. Great views back into Cape Town with the mountains as a backdrop.
Bus tour around the island with a very entertaining guide who pointed out the various historical uses for the different buildings.
Back to the high security prison for a guided tour. An ex-political prisoner was our guide. Hard to imagine how he could continue to work in the prison after being locked up there for so long. It is a very tidy, uncomplicated and highly maintained prison museum. No bells or whistles; few signs and no models or reinactments - just the stark reality of prison cells, yards and razor wire. Nelson Mandela's cell is no different to the others. At times it was difficult to understand everything the old fellow said because of his accent and some problems with his throat but the emotions were clearly not too far below the surface particularly when he talked about the limit to numbers and censorship of personal letters and the restrictions on visits by family. Political prisoners were treated more harshly than common law prisoners.
Back to the mainland and a little "situational ethics" from Timothy had us at the front of the cue for a gondola ride up Table Mountain. Spectacular 360 degree views over Cape Town and the surrounding oceans.
We returned to Albert and Victoria Waterfront to watch England get trounced. People watching completed a top day.