making a visual impression

Posts tagged “district 6

Day 4: Vineyard tour

We start our day passing the most vibrantly coloured houses I have ever seen. This is the Cape Malay area of Cape Town. Its occupants are the descendants of slaves from Malaysia, Indonesia as well as other areas of Asia and Eastern Africa. Our guide tells us that his ancestors came from Malaysia.

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Then we begin our journey to the Stellenbosch Winelands east of Cape Town. This takes us past an unfinished highway that hangs in mid-air. Construction of the highway halted because a shop owner whose establishment stood in the way of the bridge would not give permission for the construction to continue. The shop and owner have long since gone but, the highway still remains unfinished.

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Our first stop is the Simonsig Estate. The founder of Simonsig, was the first producer of Méthode Champenoise in South Africa when he made a sparkling wine named Kaapse Vonkel. It has a great taste and is at a great price, too.

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Our next stop is the luxurious Delaire Graff Estate. It is surrounded by a high electric wire fence and gated entrance with guards. The views from the Estate are stunning.

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The food in the restaurant is equally stunning.

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After lunch we return to Cape Town to  take a boat and tour of Robbens Island–one of the places where Nelson Mandela was held prisoner. However, by now we are running on South African time and we are late in arriving. We miss the boat!

Instead, two of us decide to visit the District 6 museum we had passed the other day while on our city bus sightseeing tour. We arrive with only a few minutes to look around before the museum closes.

Street signs from the destroyed District 6:

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Day 3: Sightseeing Cape Town

From the Mount Nelson Hotel we are able to take the Cape Town Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus. We take the Red City Tour. The day begins with rain. But, the tour is great. Our tickets comes with headphones so we can listen to the commentary giving information about Cape Town.

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The tour takes us past the South African Parliament building.

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We travel through District 6 – an area that was once a vibrant multi-racial community in the early 20th century but then was deliberately razed and it’s people removed. Control and racial segregation were part of apartheid town planning. District 6 was deemed for whites. Approximately 60,000 residents were removed to townships but today the area still remains barren except for the original churches and mosques that were not destroyed. It’s a very sobering sight. I plan to come back later to visit the District 6 Museum.

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We pass the Castle of Good Hope – the oldest surviving colonial building in South Africa – built in the 17th century by the Dutch East India Company.

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We wind our way up Table Mountain to the cable car station. This is closed due to the poor weather. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful view of Cape Town and the coast.

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Then we drive through the beautiful and wealthy area of Camps Bay.

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In the afternoon we visit the Slave Museum located in the original Slave Lodge built by the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century. It housed slaves in appalling conditions. These people were imported to provide labour. The slaves were shipped from East Africa but I learned that many came from Madagascar, India, Indonesia and other parts of South East Asia. This is a very sad part of South Africa’s history.

Our day ends with a meal of langoustine at Baia Seafood Restaurant on the V&A Waterfront but, with thoughts and conversation about what are the evils in our world today that we need to work to eradicate.

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The final photo of the day – sunset over Table Mountain.

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