Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town is one of my favorite destinations. The combination of a Santa Barbara-like climate, fantastic scenery and geology, and a wealth of Interesting historical sites makes it a very much looked-forward-to stop.

Table Mountain with the Cape Town skyline in the foreground. I took this shot on the ferry over to Robben Island.

Approaching Robben Island

Entrance to the prison

View to the mainland from the island. Table Mountain rises over 3,000 feet above the city. The rocks in the foreground are part of the Malmesbury Group (the Sea Point Formation), metamorphosed sandstone and shale that are the basement to the overlying rocks on Table Mountain. The foreground rocks were deposited about 850 Ma.

Close-up of the Sea Point Formation on Robben Island

Robben Island covers about 1000 acres of land

Oyster catcher sitting on two eggs, visible directly beneath her breast and cryptically the same color as the rocks in the nest

Nelson Mandela's cell within the prison

The guides are always excellent here and are themselves ex-prisoners. This one, Oliver, made an interesting comment at the end of his tour. He thanked all of the people of Belgium, Germany, the United States, and all of the countries of the world that put so much pressure on the Apartheid government of South Africa to end this policy. It was both moving and insightful.

Back at the Waterfront area of Cape Town. This is a very lively redevelopment area with shops, restaurants and museums.

Next up was the cable car ride and hike to the top of Table Mountain. This view is looking south along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.

This map shows the six Floral Provinces of the world with the Cape Floral Province as the smallest but one of the most diverse. A series of flower photographs follows.

Table Bay and Cape Town from Table Mountain

Return trip down the mountain with the Lion's Head on the left.

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