Friday, October 23, 2015

Table Mountain and BoKaap

On July 1, 2010, we rose early, once again with plans to hike to the top of Table Mountain if weather permitted.  In fact, there were at last only a few clouds in the sky, so we proceeded.  We drove Tafelberg Road, which runs along side of the mountain, and parked near the lower cable car station.  We walked 15 minutes down the road

to the beginning of the Platterklip Gorge trail, and hiked upwards, first through grass and shrubs,


 then up the gorge

 which slowly closed around us

until we reached the top. 

Table Mountain is a long and wide flat area - actually, three long flat areas. 


The view of Cape Town and surrounding areas, including the coast line stretching to the west, Robben Island in the midst of the ocean and the Cape Peninsula to the south and west, was fabulous. 

We had a snack on top, walked around the Western Table, then took the lazy way out by riding the cable car down

We drove over to Bo Kaap, the "Cape Malay" or Muslim section of town, for lunch at the Noon Gun Tea Room on the slopes of Signal Hill, over looking the city.  The curries and other dishes were delicious, and we enjoyed looking down at the harbor

as well as back at Table Mountain as we picked out the route we had hiked (shaded area near middle of photo). 

After lunch, we headed to the small Bo-Kaap museum which memorialized the arrival of Muslims in South Africa and the accomplishments of Muslims. There were extensive displays about the celebration of carnival in Cape Town (Kaapse Klopse), including the influence of American black-face minstrelsy (who knew?).   The Muslim and other servants and slaves were required to work for their white masters as they celebrated the New Year on January 1 but had January 2 as a holiday (for many, their only day off all year!), so that was the day of the annual carnival parade.  We learned that BoKaap had escaped the fate of District Six because it was declared a Muslim Group Area - in fact, the result was that Bo Kaap is now the only working class area in downtown Cape Town.

Then back to the hotel - Sam and Joe took a soccer ball to play on the beach and/or the lawns above, with plans to head to the Internet café afterward (the hotel's charges for Internet were ridiculous - I hate it when everything besides the room becomes a huge profit center. Protea chain - for shame!).  Paul and Nancy strolled down the beachfront and beach until well after sunset.

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