Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Other Half of the Day

Has this really all been one day? I'm a lovely shade of tomato. I should know better, but I didn't pack sunscreen because I wanted to carry my bag on – which didn't get to happen anyway, on any of my 3 flights. Oh well, I have to spend the next 5 days inside, anyway.

My plan for the afternoon was to head into downtown, get a ticket for the Rocky Horror Picture Show performance and visit the District 6 museum. Well that didn't quite work out. It took me about 2 hours to walk to the theater. Tickets for tonight's performance were sold out. The museum was closed, it's Sunday. But I still had a great afternoon.  Downtown reminded me a lot of Amsterdam, with its brick-paved, car-less side streets and curvy roads.  I suppose that comparison probably makes sense.

I stumbled upon another Mandela tribute. The Cape Town city hall is the first place Mandela addressed the public after his release from prison. Across from city hall is a large plaza. There were police everywhere. The ends of city hall's street were barricaded off. Railings covered in flowers and signs lined the area in front of city hall. Large screens with massive speakers were set-up on the sides of the plaza. Current images from the front of city hall blazed on their screens. I stopped for a bit. It was hard not to be moved by the outpouring of expressions all around.

I also tried another strange new drink. This time, it was Frankie's Olde Soft Drink Co.'s Dandelion & Burdock soda. I have no idea what burdock is, so I can't tell you if the soda tasted like it. And, I don't eat dandelions, so come to think of it, I can't tell you if the soda tasted like those either. But, it was pretty good. A bit tangy. I'd put it in the cream and sasparilla family, though it's not the same as either of those.

The receptionist at the hostel had advised me to check out an open air market downtown. I hadn't really planned on it but found myself there. It was mostly curios and outfits. All the fun fabrics had already been made into things. I headed through, glancing at things as I went. After moseying through the market, I regained my bearings and followed the “V&A Waterfront” signs back to the waterfront. My feet ached, and my legs hurt. But it's hard to tell yourself you can't go on when you're surrounded by pictures of Nelson Mandela and all you're doing is walking around on a sunny afternoon.

By this point, I was considering going back to the lodge, just to sit down somewhere, but I didn't really want to spend the rest of the day waiting for bedtime. Instead, I found one of the City Tours hop-on-hop-off buses and hopped on. It was fun. First, we went back downtown. - I should have started with the bus. - As we wound out of downtown, we went through the area known as District 6. In some ways, it made up for not being able to go to the museum. The bus tour explained the history of the area. It had been Capet Town's most diverse area. When apartheid started, the government forced everyone out – every single person out of an entire neighborhood – and destroyed all the homes. Most of the district is still grass and weeds.

Then, we went up to Table Mountain. I got off the bus there, but I didn't go up the mountain. It wasn't until we were leaving that I realized you could actually climb up and not just take the cable car.  The view was amazing even from the parking lot.

From there, we went around the back of Table Mountain, past the Twelve Apostles and down to the beach. What a beautiful beach! White sands, blue water. There were washed up oyster and sea shells everywhere. I've now touched both sides of the Atlantic. The only other body of water I can say that about is Lake Michigan. The bus tour wound around the coast and dropped us back at the Waterfront. I attempted to head back to the lodge.

Attempted is the key word there. I walked a bit down the road, paused, decided I was probably going the wrong way and turned around. Three steps back and I heard my name. It was my friend who's one of the main organizers for the conference that starts tomorrow! I was very happy to see him. One, because he's awesome, and two, because he was able to point me back towards the direction I was supposed to be going. There happened to be a massive craft shed between me and the road I needed, so I did a little shopping on the way. ;)

1 comment:

munchkinhead said...

aw no RHPS, that would have been interesting!