Africa 2023:
Day 47-48 - Cape Town [Main] [Contact Us] [Events] [Family] [Fun] [Garden] [Misc.] [Photos] [Search] [Site Index] [Travel]

Africa 2023: [Pre-Cruise] [Day 1 - Ft. Lauderdale] [Day 2-8 - At Sea] [Day 9 - Funchal] [Day 10 - Arrecife] [Day 11 - Agadir] [Day 12 - Casablanca] [Day 13-14 - At Sea] [Day 15 - Tunisia] [Day 16 - At Sea] [Day 17 - Crete] [Day 18 - At Sea] [Day 19 - Cyprus] [Day 20 - At Sea] [Day 21 - Suez Canal] [Day 22 - Safaga] [Day 23-26 - At Sea] [Day 27 - Salalah] [Day 28-31 - At Sea] [Day 32-33 - Seychelles] [Day 34-35 - At Sea] [Day 36-37 - Zanzibar] [Day 38 - At Sea] [Day 39 - Mayotte] [Day 40 - Madagascar] [Day 41-42 - At Sea] [Day 43 - Mozambique] [Day 44 - Durban] [Day 45-46 - At Sea] [Day 47-48 - Cape Town] [Day 49 - At Sea] [Day 50 - Luderitz] [Day 51 - Walvis Bay] [Day 52-53 - At Sea] [Day 54 - Angola] [Day 55-57 - At Sea] [Day 58 - Ghana] [Day 59 - Côte d'Ivoire] [Day 60-61 - At Sea] [Day 62 - The Gambia] [Day 63 - Senegal] [Day 64 - At Sea] [Day 65 - Cape Verde] [Day 66-70 - At Sea] [Day 71 - Puerto Rico] [Day 72-73 - At Sea] [Day 74 - Ft. Lauderdale]

Saturday, November 25, 2023: Table Mountain looked as impressive as ever as we approached Cape Town in the pre-dawn darkness.
We entered the harbor just before 6:00 AM, ...
... and went to our assigned berth. Our spot was right behind this Maersk cargo ship, the Maersk Vallvik.
Here's Table Mountain in the light of day. Hello, beautiful!
By 6:30 AM, mooring was complete, and we were having our breakfast of French toast for Debbie and scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns for Tom. Today was going to be a full day, so we needed to have a good breakfast.
We were going to be touring vineyards today, and LEGO Debbie and Tom were getting an early start.
Today was also the day when some passengers disembarked and new passengers arrived. The port set up a fancy green gangway, and the ship's luggage conveyor belt started offloading luggage.
There were paragliders hovering around Signal Hill. What's that? Can't see them in the lower right in this photo?
How about now?
When our tour was called, we went ashore, mingling with the disembarking passengers, walking through the large terminal building, ...
... and boarding our bus.
We were docked right in the heart of the V&A Waterfront within easy walking distance of shopping, dining, and amusements.
There was an iStore right at the entrance to the port in a beautiful old building.
We drove over the canal, ...
... and past downtown.
That's the Mediterranean Shipping Company. We love seeing MSC shipping containers, but ...
... not as much as we love seeing a field full of Maersk containers!
Table Mountain looks like someone took a saw and chopped off the top of it.
Cricket! They're playing cricket!
Well. Now we know where bacon lived when it was growing up.
After about thirty minutes, we were on the outskirts of Paarl and were admiring the Stellenbosch Mountains in the distance.
This region has hundreds of vineyards, so can you blame this one for trying to stand out a little with a giant wine bottle?
Off in the distance, we could see the Afrikaans Language Monument, also known as the Taalmonument. It was built in 1975 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Afrikaans language being declared an official language in South Africa.
The Hottentots-Holland Mountains surround the area.
This hill had a crack running down the center of it. Growing pains?
At 9:45 AM, we arrived at our first stop: Nederburg Wine Estate.
The grounds were lovely. This building housed the bathrooms, a tasting room, and the Manor Restaurant.
Debbie loves these flowers. Too bad they like warmer climates.
Our tasting was set up in the courtyard. It was perfect weather: cool but not cold, with just enough sun peeking through the clouds to make you happy to be outside.
While everything was being set up, Debbie went to the women's restroom while there was no line.
Our first wine was Methode Cap Classique, a sparkling wine made from chardonnay and pinot noir.
That was followed by a 2023 Sauvignon Blanc, ...
... and then a rosé made from grenache and carignan grapes.
That was followed by our only red wine, The Brew Master. It is a blend of cabernet sauvignon, merlot, petit verdot, and cabernet franc, and commemorates Johann Graue who was a former owner of the estate.
The last wine, a 2022 Noble Late Harvest, was a dessert wine and our favorite.
Here's all five wines side by side. Aren't they pretty?
Our hostess, Natasha, did a fantastic job of explaining each of the wines as they were poured and then talking about the grapes that were used and the process to make them.
After the tasting, Tom followed Natasha through the building, ...
... and purchased one bottle of the Noble Late Harvest. Once he realized how low the price was, he bought a second one. We had expected it to be priced like an ice wine and be very expensive. Each bottle was less than eight US dollars.
We really liked our tablemates. We laughed and told stories and had a great time. Someone on the bus said later that we were seated at the "fun table."
The gentleman from Quebec sitting across from us bought the red wine version of the dessert wine, Eminence Noble Late Harvest Muscadel. It had apparently won a lot of awards.
After a little more than an hour, we were back on the bus and driving off the Nederburg estate. That was the perfect way to start a winelands tour.
This estate is used as an event venue.
We drove past one of the Black resettlement areas, known as townships, where Blacks were forced to live during apartheid.
As we drove to the next stop on our tour, we passed a cattle ranch, ...
... apple trees, ...
... a horse farm, ...
... the tiny train station at Simondium, ...
... and more wine estates.
We were headed to another tasting, ...
... at the Boschendal Wine Estate.
There are several areas at Boschendal, and this was the Rhône Homestead, which was founded in 1691. We walked from the bus past the namesake homestead, ...
... through a rose garden ...
... with beautiful white roses, ...
... to a large courtyard with tables set up for our tasting. Our wines had already been poured for us.
Our host, Elshaun, went through each glass, explaining what we should be tasting with each glass. We sampled the Rachel Chenin Blanc, ...
... and the Rose Garden Rosé, ...
... and the Blanc Noir, which was a white wine made from red grapes.
We were at the fun table again, and Debbie trained everyone in the proper way to clink glasses. Cheers!
Between our last two glasses, a white wine called Le Bouquet and a red wine called Lanoy, they passed around a pricing list to have wine shipped to the United States. Because it included shipping costs, the per bottle prices on the list were very much higher than the last place we stopped, and many people at our table decided that they didn't want to pay the higher prices. In reality, the wines were just as reasonably priced as the last place, and everyone in our group would have bought more if they hadn't given us the pricing list.
We walked back to the bus, past a towering stack of crates that probably held grapes at some point.
We drove a short distance to the Deli at Boschendal, which is where we were stopping for lunch.
It was a beautiful picnic location, and we were shown to a long line of tables set up for us under the trees. Small groups of people were having their own picnics around us.
Tom got out his notes from the tasting and pointed out the ones we had tried to his neighbor Cathy. She ordered the Le Bouquet, and based the pricing we had seen during the tasting, assumed that she was ordering a glass of wine since it was only $6.
She was quite surprised with the server brought her a bottle in a chilled bucket. She tried to cancel her order, saying she only wanted a glass, but when Tom reminded her that she was getting an entire bottle what she was prepared to pay for just one glass, she pulled the bottle out of the bucket and said, "We're doing this!"
A few minutes later, the servers brought around picnic boxes containing our lunches.
There was one box for every couple and it was full of food.
There was brie and camembert cheese, ...
... hummus with caramelized onion, chili mayo sauce, and garden pesto, ...
... a village salad, ...
... two loaves of ciabatta, two seeded breadsticks, and a rotisserie chicken. There was also sliced ham, pastrami, and quinoa salad in the box.
We sat in this idyllic spot, eating and drinking with our tablemates, and having a great time.
After 90 minutes, we made a quick stop in the building where the restrooms were, ...
... and then we boarded the bus again to head to our next stop.
We drove through scenic countryside, ...
... over the Wemmershoek River, ...
... through the fields of La Motte, ...
... until we reached Franschhoek, an area setted by French Huguenots in 1685.
There were more wineries in this area, of course, ...
... and some breweries, ...
... and a huge township stretching up into the hills filled with shacks made from corrugated tin.
We drove through the picturesque town, ...
... and saw rhino and elephant statues in a cafe. Where they part of a series?
They didn't have the usual pedestal base that we're used to seeing on statue-series statues, but we were on full alert now.
We passed the Franschhoek Art House, where there were handicrafts out for sale, ...
... a clothing shop with a cafe outside, ...
... and street performers in colorful costumes.
Look at this adorable information station for the Franschhoek Tourism Board. You can take a wine tram around here from one winery to the next.
If this wasn't a winery tour, maybe we could have stopped at some of the breweries here.
Beautiful sculpture.
At the end of the town, we made a photo stop to see the Huguenot Monument, which is dedicated to religious freedom, ...
... before turning the bus around and driving back though the town.
The last thing we saw in Franschoek was the Dutch Reform Church, which was built in 1841.
We drove toward the city of Stellenbosch, ...
... and admired the beautiful scenery.
Stellenbosch is a university town, and one of the first campus buildings we saw was the Irene dormitory. How fitting!
The signs for the buildings were written in Afrikaans at the top, English in the middle, and Xhosa at the bottom.
Our guide, Prem, talked about the history of the university and the many oak trees planted throughout the city. The bus stopped on a side street, and Prem gave us some time to walk around and explore.
We stayed on the bus for a few minutes and ate our carrot cake that had come with lunch.
Refreshed, we got off the bus and walked around the block. This manhole cover was stamped with "manholes 4 africa."
Beautiful building.
Scary sculpture. There was a whole row of them along the street that included this octopus, a gargoyle, and several others.
We'd seen lots of jacaranda trees while we were driving.  Their bluish purple color makes them stand out.
This pretty white and green building, ...
... bore a huge embossed metal disc that declared it a national monument.
This is the Stellenbosch Hotel. It looks a little like a barn, doesn't it?
When our guide was describing the town, she talked about how it was a university town with typical university food establishments. This seemed a little more upscale than our university days.
Although, if there were any places for statues of guys with shovels, it would have been the Midwest.
This former church is now an art gallery.
Everything was charming.
Naak, on one side, is a clothing store, and Booba, on the other, is a restaurant.
As we left Stellenbosch, we passed a random field on the drive back that had a zebra in it.
More zebras!
Antelopes or gazelles? Place your bets. Antelopes or gazelles?
We were both now on high alert. Could we spot a rhinoceros in the suburbs?
No rhinos. Creepy strawberry lady statue, though.
We passed Cape Town Film Studios, home of such productions as Mad Max Fury Road, Tomb Raider, Doctor Who, and Outlander.
As we drove on the N2 back toward the waterfront, we passed the Khayelitsha township, ...
... which was filled with shacks made of corrugated tin. There were outhouses at regular intervals.
At some point, the shacks gave way to more permanent structures, which Prem said were government built homes that were slowly replacing the shacks.
We passed Groote Schuur Hospital where the world's first human heart transplant took place in 1967.
We were reaching the bay area and could see the cranes of the harbor in the distance.
Shacks had been built on a disused section of freeway, ...
... and there was a homeless encampment under the trees not far away.
We arrived back at the terminal building just before 5:00 PM.
Inside the terminal building, there were many art displays, including this one made from embroidery, ...
... and this one from felt, ...
... one from glass beads, ...
... and wooden beads, ...
... and fabric,
... and perhaps the most interesting of all, this one made from plastic bottle parts.
Here are our souvenirs from today. Two bottles of the dessert wine from Nederburg and the attractive cardboard box from the picnic lunch at Boschendal.
For dinner, Tom had ice cream and Debbie had some seafood pasta salad. We were still quite full from that amazing lunch on the tour.
When we returned to our cabin, we had a business card from our new cabin steward, Sugeng. Our previous steward had left the ship today at the end of his current contract, and curious and a little anxious at his replacement. Josmen had done an excellent job, and we hoped Sugeng would be able to fill his shoes.
We watched the cargo ships in the port unloading as we ate dinner in air-conditioned splendor.
It's always a little surreal when Windows serves you an image of an exotic place while you can see it from your window. Table Mountain, anyone?
The sunset behind Signal Hill was breathtakingly beautiful, ...
... and Table Mountain looked amazing as well.
The lights of V&A Waterfront were coming on. We could see the Cape Wheel where we intended to go tomorrow.
As the sky darkened, everything just got more beautiful. That's Table Mountain on the left and Signal Hill on the right, ...
... and all of V&A Waterfront with the Cape Wheel at the water's edge in the far distance.
We treated ourselves to the marshmallows we had saved from the picnic lunch. They were perfection. Pillowy airy goodness. Yum.
After 47 days, we still couldn't quite come to grips with the fact that we live here.

Sunday, November 26, 2023: We were exploring on our own today and were off the ship at 7:00 AM.
As we walked from where the ship was docked to the shops at the V&A Waterfront, we passed this giant mural by Eske Touborg showing that there is water just under the surface that we cannot see.
We'd been staring at this building, the Ocular Lounge and Event Space, since we docked and were fascinated by the interesting convex windows. The building itself is a repurposed grain silo.
The waterfront was made for pedestrians, with lots of different walkways through the buildings.
There were art displays scattered about, including this one that mimics the silhouette of Table Mountain, ...
... along with one of those big yellow rectangles to help you frame your photo. This early, we were the only people out so it was easy to get photos of Table Mountain without having to wait for a turn.
See how pretty it is?
This sculpture of a hermit crab by artist David Griessel was made from recycled materials.
We walked passed shops and galleries toward the clock tower, ...
... where we found this herd of rhino statues just waiting to be photographed.
One, ...
... two, ...
... three, ...
... four, ...
... five, ...
... six, ...
... seven, ...
... and eight. Debbie was thrilled.
The manhole covers were stamped with V&A Waterfront, Cape Town.
We crossed the clock tower pedestrian bridge, ...
... and passed this beautiful Victorian building housing the African Trading Port store.
Scattered about were native animal signs for you to find. This penguin sign was number four of eight.
This is not one of those signs.
Here's another frame for your Table Mountain photos. We were determined to photograph them all, especially since there were no people around.
We love restaurants with these husband day care signs. Someday we'll leave Tom at one of these so that he can report on what they are like inside.
Oh, yeah, it's Christmas season. It's hard to remember that when it is such great weather.
We arrived at our first stop, McDonald's V&A Waterfront, right on schedule.
We used a handy kiosk to order their Boerie Burger, a South African Breakfast meal, and two large Diet Cokes.
The meals came with French fries, and the Diet Cokes were enormous, which suited us just fine. The Boerie burger had an interesting taste, almost like a hot dog in hamburger form.
Just before 8:00 AM, we walked back across the pedestrian bridge, past this compass rose and signpost, ...
... toward the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. This art exhibit outside the building showed the size of Nelson Mandela's cell on Robben Island. Uh, spoiler.
The building contains a museum with exhibits about Robben Island, and it is also the ferry terminal for tours going to the island.
We already had our tour tickets, so we headed downstairs to the boarding area. At a few minutes after 8 o'clock, there were only a handful of people there.
We took our time looking at the timeline on the walls, not really getting in line since no one was there.
By 8:15 AM, the tour buses were dropping off their passengers and the entire place was packed. So packed, indeed, that the line filled the lower landing, went up the staircase, around the next level, up that staircase, and around to the third floor. We were very happy that we had gotten there early.
Boarding started promptly at 8:30 AM, and we went aboard the ferry named "Jester."
There was a South African fur seal on the pier having an early morning snooze.
While everyone headed to the seats up top, we went into the empty main cabin and got two great seats by the window.
And we're off! Here's a view looking back toward the clock tower pedestrian bridge and the African Trading Port building.
There was another fur seal playing in the water as we motored out of the harbor.
We could see the star logo on the Maersk Cap Carmel that was tied up near our ship. It's such a pretty logo.
Such a beautiful waterfront.
Fur seals were all over the base of this channel buoy, and there were a couple more in the water waiting for their turn to sit on it.
Our ferry passed the Maersk Sofia as it headed into port. This port has a very satisfying amount of Maersk shipping and containers. We were enjoying it very much.
A line of sea birds flew in formation over the bay, ...
... and a few seconds later they flew right over our ferry. Debbie got this great shot of them through the ferry's open window.
Here's a different type of bird, flying low over the water.
Almost an hour later, we approached the harbor at Robben Island.
More birds supervised the ferry's arrival from the breakwater.
When we got off the ship, we walked toward the waiting buses, ...
... and after our tour guide explained to several passengers taking up too many seats that this was not a private tour, we were seated on bus number six, ...
... and the tour headed into the prison complex.
Just inside the prison gates is a shrine built over the grave of Sayed Abdurahman Motoru, one of Cape Town's first imams. He was exiled to Robben Island in the 1740s and died on the island in 1754. Prisoners on the island built this shrine to him in 1969.
The next stop was the leper graveyard. Robben Island was a leper colony from the 1840s until the 1930s. There are 1500 graves on the island.
It was a short drive from there to the limetone quarry. Political prisoners worked hard labor here for eight hours every day. The cave in the background was the prisoners' breakroom, lunchroom, classroom, and bathroom. This was the only place in the prison where prisoners could freely interact.
There was a pile of stones on one side of the quarry. During a reunion of former prisoners in 1995, Nelson Mandela picked up a stone, carried to this spot, and dropped it. Other former prisoners did the same, building a small pile of rocks. He said that they represented all of the political prisoners still being held in captivity.
Our next stop was at the house of Robert Sobukwe. He was arrested in 1960 for forming the Pan African Congress political party, and was sentenced to three years in prison. As his term was nearing conclusion, parliment passed what came to be known as the Sobukwe Clause, allowing political prisoners to be held indefinitely after their original prison terms were completed. In 1963, he was transferred to Robben Island and detained in solitary confinement in this house for six years.
This was the Church of the Good Shepherd, built in 1885 for the people that looked after the lepers.
We drove through the village, which used to house the prison workers but now holds people who work at the museum on the island.
This was the Garrison Church, ...
... built in 1841 when the island was a military base. It is the only building on the island that doesn't belong to the South African government. It belongs to the Anglican Church.
When we stopped at this snack shop, our guide said that we were stopping here for "ten African minutes," and then told us to be back on the bus half an hour from now.
There was another picture frame nearby, but this time it was blue. We waited our turn to get a photo with no one in it, ...
... and then Debbie took this couple's photo for them.
We were mesmerized as birds would fly high over this road and then drop something from their beaks onto it.
They were dropping clams or mussels from high up to try to get them to break open. Genius!
We had one 20 Rand bill left over from the last time we were in South Africa, and we used it to buy this can of Twist. It was granadilla flavored, which is similar to passion fruit, and it was delicious.
We spent our last few minutes here looking out over the bay, ...
... before boarding the bus and heading to the prison.
An African sacred ibis was pecking at something in the grass across the large lawn.
Our bus guide, Nandi, handed us off to a new guide, a former political prisoner who used to be imprisoned here in the 1980s.
His name was Ntolzelizwe Talakumeni, and he was imprisoned here from 1986 to 1990 when he was in his 30s.
He told about being part of the Soweto Uprising in 1976, when Black children boycotted school to protest all classes being taught in Afrikaans. Police responded with brutality, killing up to 700 students.
He then led us to the maximum security area of the prison, ...
... and explained that guards were instructed to shoot to kill any prisoners that approached the fence line. There were five guard towers placed around the prison to keep the prisoners under constant observation. This field is where prisoners were able to engage in sports once per week.
We entered "F" block, where our guide spent most of his four years here.
We passed long rooms with double bunk beds, ...
... as we walked through the long central hallway of the building.
Our guide said that his was his cell, ...
... and that it used to hold between 40 and 50 prisoners at any given time. There was a thin mattress on the floor, and he said that was what prisoners slept before they were finally given bunk beds shortly before his time on the island was completed.
We walked through the courtyards between prison buildings, ...
... and into ...
... "B" block, which is where Nelson Mandela was housed during his 18 years on the island.
This prison yard is where political prisoners were set to break rocks.
There were grape vines growing on the back wall of the yard. Mandela would bury pages of his autobiography in the dirt in this yard, to be retrieved later and smuggled out of the prison. When this was discovered by prison authorities, his priviliges were revoked for four years.
Our guide talked about the photo of Mandela on a board at one end of the yard. Rumors circulated during Mandela's imprisonment that he had been killed, and officials bowed to pressure to allow his photo to be taken in the prison yard to show that he was still alive. The photo was released to the press and was shown throughout the world, but not in South Africa where the apartheid government declared it to be illegal to publish the photo of a prisoner.
The fourth window from the left, or third from the right, was Mandela's cell.
We filed into the wing holding the cells, with everyone waiting their turn to take a photo of Nelson Mandela's cell.
Here it is, just like it was when he was imprisoned here. The roll of bedding on the floor and the small table were his only furnishings.
One of the last rooms we saw before we exited the building was the toilet and shower room. There was no hot water for the prisoners here until 1973.
This is the door for the exit to "B" block. It is a two-foot thick block of stone, sitting on a rail track, and pushed by motor-driven gears.
We thanked our fantastic guide and walked back to the ferry terminal to get a boat back to the mainland. Debbie noticed that the metal in the fence around the harbor looked like shackles or leg irons.
We love these huge concrete stones used for breakwaters. So do the fur seals, apparently.
We left Murray's Bay Harbor around 12:20 PM, headed toward Table Mountain, ...
... and arrived back at the waterfront around 1:00 PM. There were lots of sailboats in the harbor, and they looked like they were part of some kind of race. They all sailed out to a buoy and then turned around and headed in the other direction.
As we reached the dock, we noticed a small pen off to the side of the pier.
It had four South African fur seals in it, all happily sleeping in the early afternoon sun. They can come and go as they please through the small door on the left.
There were a lot more people here when we returned. We passed a bunch of people all dressed in white headed toward a restaurant near the water. Were they headed to a white dinner?
Oooh. This manhole cover had the V&A Waterfront logo in color.
A pillar marked the spot where His Royal Highness Prince Alfred dumped the first cartload of stones for the breakwater around the harbor in 1860.
The waterfront was alive with activity. There were families walking around and kids playing in the water features. It was a very fun place to be on a beautiful Sunday afternoon.
Our next stop, however, was at Ocean Basket to do some serious eating.
We were delighted to find Amarula on the menu. When we ordered and asked for Amarula, the waiter seemed momentarily shocked. We didn't know if it was because we basically ordered shots on a Sunday afternoon in a family restaurant, or if he was surprised that we knew what Amarula was. Cheers!
We both ordered Calamari Three Ways (grilled, fried, and cajun). All three were delicious and just what we'd been craving.
It turns out that we had arrived at just the right time. We had been shown to a table without having to wait, and when we left, the line was fairly long.
We walked through the mall, looking at all of the colorful decorations.
More pretty decorations, and, oooh, Woolworths. Let's go there.
They had holiday decorations out, and we looked at the Christmas crackers and paper placemats trying to figure out if they would survive the trip home. Probably not.
In the grocery section, we loved the way they packaged their soups. Just a plastic bag with a label. That's awesome.
All of this food requires refrigeration and therefore is denied to us.
They had the mini doughnut things that we love. It's probably good that we couldn't buy them, since we'd fall in love with them and then not be able to have them unless we were here.
In the candy section, they had Debbie's favorite mint chocolate Aero bars, ...
... and giant Chuckles candy bars that we'd never seen before.
We completed our walk through the mall and emerged on the waterfront outside of the harbor, looking right at the Cape Wheel. We were going there, but not just yet.
First, we headed to the LEGO Store at V&A Waterfront. We had been unable to determine online if this was a real LEGO store, ...
... and sadly it was not. It was just a section of a Toy Kingdom store.
We looked around for a while, trying to find anything that we could justify buying, but left without purchasing anything. We did like their giant Yoda sculpture though.
At the Cape Wheel, we canceled our 7:30 reservations for the Sky Dining experience. We had planned to have dinner on the wheel at sunset, but since the ship's all-aboard time had been moved up to 8:00 PM from 10:30 PM, we decided to skip the special experience and just do a regular ride this afternoon instead.
The wait time was short, and very soon we were in a car looking out over the mall toward Table Mountain.
The view was spectacular, ...
... looking out over the boats in the bay, ...
... and at a couple of adorable American tourists.
Here's the view of the entire V&A Waterfront, downtown, and the mountain, of course.
These are condominiums built over the shops at the waterfront. Let's look a little closer at the pool.
There were dozens of birds in and around the pool but no hotel guests anywhere. <Insert ominous music here.>
Tom was fascinated by the engineering involved in the wheel's structure.
That's DHL Stadium on the left, one of the venues for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
After four revolutions, which took about ten minutes, our ride was over. We went from the wheel to the walk along the breakwater on the left side of this photo.
The breakwater was made from a combination of natural stone blocks and cast concrete ones. There was an overlook at one of the turning points that took you right out to the water's edge.
That's Robben Island in the distance.
We walked by all of the huge buses parked near the Cape Wheel, hoping that one of them had the Holland America shuttle bus sign in the front window. Sure enough, the first one in the row was our shuttle, and we climbed aboard and took seats near the back.
As we drove back to our ship, we passed the area that we'd explored last time we were here.
There was Nobel Square, with the statues of African Nobel Prize winners, ...
... and the Two Oceans Aquarium.
The façade on this Radisson Red Hotel was interesting and beautiful.
We were back at the ship just before 4:00 PM, ...
... and celebrating our fantastic day with ice cream less than ten minutes later.
At 5:00 PM, they announced that the in-person immigration exit interview process was starting in the terminal building ashore, and we raced down to try to beat the lines. Unfortunately, the crew was already herding everyone returning from a tour into the immigration lines and the building was already crowded. The line moved fairly quickly though, and we were done in about thirty minutes.
Did you know that November 26th was National Cake Day?
We had salads for dinner, ...
... and noticed for the first time that they had different tongs to use for different allergies. Very cool!
LEGO Debbie and Tom enjoyed the typical South African wildlife with an ostrich ride and penguin feeding.
This beautiful red-winged starling stopped by our balcony for a short visit.
We watched the terminal building as the crew made announcements pleading with guests to complete the exit immigration process. After the last few stragglers finally completed the process, ...
... they brought in a special truck to remove the big green gangway. Workers climbed up on top of it, strung cables to the slings, ...
... the truck unfurled its crane, hooked on, and swung it ...
... over to a flatbed truck to haul it away.
Just after 10:00 PM, we blew our mighty horn to say farewell, ...
... and manuevered away from the pier, said goodbye to all of the beautiful Maersk, ...
... and the gorgeous buildings, ...
... and the squawking sea birds on the pier, ...
... and sailed out under a full moon. Farewell, Cape Town. We will hopefully return some day.

Day 49 >

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