Posts Tagged ‘Table Mountain’

Flat Rock Viewing

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Cape Town city grows smaller the further our gondola gets from the lower station. We are on our way up to the top of Table Mountain. The small capsule we are standing in rotates as it ascends and this allows each of the passengers to get a stunning view of the city, Robben Island, the coastal plains and, of course, the imposing flat top mountain above us.

The smooth ride to the top of Table Mountain takes around eight minutes – much shorter than hiking up (an alternative).  Nearing the upper station you get a sensation of entering into the mountain.  It feels like something out of a James Bond movie.

Arriving At The Top

We exit the upper station and walk out into the brisk temperature.  We’re glad we bought out jackets with us.  The mountain is over three thousand feet  high and at this time of the year the temperatures can drop down to around 10 degrees C.  However, the cloudless day is allowing the sun an unlimited opportunity to warm this part of planet earth so we won’t exactly freeze to death.

It becomes immediately apparent that this is a very special place and it is easy to see why it is now one  of the New7Wonders of Nature.

We are looking forward to exploring this beautiful mountain top and soaking up the incredible views.

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Mountains and Sheds On The Cape

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Our small Citroen rental car’s window is filled with the distinct shape of Table Mountain as we motor along the impressive freeway toward Cape Town.  It looks like someone has sliced the peak off a huge mountain and forgotten to put it back.  An incredible sight despite having seen it in magazines and on TV.

A glance at our watches tells us that we have been traveling for over 20 hours since we left Hong Kong however we are wide awake with the thought of spending the next six days in Cape Town.  We have only just arrived on the Western Cape however the aerial views of the rugged mountains, extensive vineyards and the southern Atlantic ocean have piqued our desire to explore this beautiful region in detail.

Flat Top Welcome

Our short journey to Hout Bay, a small town south of the city, takes us past several shanty towns – millions of people call this part of South Africa home.  This is our first close up look at these communities and we are quite shocked at the number of flimsy shacks that have been erected here.  It becomes painfully obvious to us that despite the demise of apartheid the black majority in South Africa are still a long way from living the dreams held by Nelson Mandela and other staunch anti-apartheid activists.  That day will come.

We follow the instructions sent to us by the hosts of the B&B we will be staying at and before long we are driving through the forested winding road that links Hout Bay to Cape Town.  Huge houses surrounded by acres of land are visible behind tall fences.  Electrified wires are strung across the top of the fences and warning signs send a message to those who have nefarious intentions.  This beautiful suburban area is a stark contrast to the sprawling shanty town landscape on the outskirts of Cape Town city.

Our history lesson begins.

Our fellow avid traveller Jen Miller (Jen Reviews) has written some great articles on “100 Best Things To Do In South Africa”  Please check out Jen’s excellent articles for some great advice on when visiting South Africa.

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