Sunday, December 8, 2013

Half-a-Day in Cape Town

Nothing beats waking up to a sunrise and birds chirping – somethings are true no matter where you are in the world. I thrust my feet out from under the fluffy duvet to allow the soft breeze to waft over them. Ah, warm air and cool breezes; my favorite. After 30+ hours of traveling I was happy to be lying in bed and it hardly even bothered me that I was awake at 5am.

My first morning in Cape Town! I spent most of it down at the Waterfront, wandering around, exploring, shopping. It reminded me of both Venice and of Pier 39 in San Francisco. Boats, water, tourist shops, a movie being filmed, people, people and more people. People with cameras, people with strollers, people with smiles, and a lot of people in Nelson Mandela commemorative t-shirts of one sort or another.

After perusing a three-floor souvenir shop where I briefly contemplated buying Alfred a four foot tall, six foot long carved rhino statue, and even more briefly considered buying a Zebra skin rug, complete with head, for my and Munchkinhead's Africa room, I wandered over to the Nelson Mandela museum building. The building is the ticket station and launch port for ferries over to Robben Island, where Mandela was held in prison. It seems like the tours work a lot like Alcatrez: buy a ferry ticket, go over to the island, do a tour. At 9:30am, they were sold out for the entire day. Disappointed, but not surprised, I wandered off to explore more of the area.

A giant distance marker stood near the water along a boardwalk. Lots of arrows protruded from the post, proclaiming the distance and direction of major cities around the world. “San Francisco 16690 km,” “Chicago 13662 km.” Those numbers felt huge. I didn't even bother trying to compute them into miles.

There was a giant ferris wheel, which looked pretty fun. I thought I'd give that a try. A nice gentelman, originally from Cape Town but who has lived in Australia for the past 30 years offered to share a ferris wheel cab with me. That was fantastic, because he was able to tell me about what we saw out the windows. And from way up top, we could see a lot. There was Table Mountain behind us and Devil's Peak off to the side. One of the stadiums built for the World Cup 2010. An oil rig brought down from West Africa for repairs. Hotels and shops and docks. It was grand.

After some more window shopping, I headed back towards my hostel. I was getting very thirsty and knew I'd need lunch soon. I had hoped to find a grocery store, but while I found Pick and Pay signs, I could not locate the Pick and Pay. Then, as I neared the street leading to my hostel, I saw a familiar green tree down the street. Spar! Spar was one of the higher end grocery stores in Zambia. I figured it probably wasn't higher end here, comparatively, and headed over. My find of the day: cream soda flavored milk. That sounded so strange, how could I not try it?! And, it was bright green! It was ok. It didn't really taste like cream soda or milk. I don't know what it tasted like. Green stuff, I guess.

After a refreshing lunch of rolls, cheese and guava juice, I'm set for another adventure in a different direction.


Wendy said...

As much as I would love a rhino statue, how would you get it here? And Nathan wouldn't like it, he would say it is too big and just one more thing we would have to move in May.

goldenrail said...

Believe it or not, Nathan's likely dislike of the statue was a factor I weighed. I just won't say in which direction it tilted the scales ;)