Ian was right. Under a dazzling sunshine and with hardly a cloud in the sky when we arrived, Table Mountain was spectacularly alluring.
It seemed to rise straight up out of the ground, then stop abruptly as if something, or someone, had blunted its ascent.
We got our tickets and boarded the funicular that would take us the nearly 3,600 feet to the top of the mountain. Watching the buildings and cars below as they got smaller and smaller, I felt my ears pop in reaction to the change in altitude.
I spoke with my Aunt Connie, before I left for South Africa. It had been her dream, she told me, to visit Table Mountain. She was so thrilled I was going, she asked that I kiss it for her. After I laid this stone, I remembered the promise I made Aunt Connie. I’m glad I was able to “kiss the mountain” for her. It was a great way to end our first day in Cape Town.
We knew from the outset that one of our Cape Town ‘must-sees’ would be Robben Island so we purchased our tickets before we even left the U.S.
Despite being walking distance from our accommodations at the V&A Waterfront to the Nelson Mandela Gateway, if our guide, Ian, hadn’t shown up when he did, we would have missed the boat – we were so late getting ready!
Seeing Cape Town on our first morning, bathed in the sparkling golden sunlight, was breathtaking. But shortly after leaving our temporary apartment, we were at the ferry terminal.
When I told my 80 year-old aunt that I was going to Cape Town, she replied excitedly, “I’ve always wanted to see Table Mountain but never made it. Please kiss the mountain for me!”
After hearing that, if Table Mountain had not been on my list, it soon would be.
We arrived in Cape Town on a Thursday night, after three amazing days watching game in Hwange National Park and making friends with the team at Makalolo Plains in Zimbabwe.
Now we were about to begin the third leg of our trip in beautiful Cape Town. Ian, our guide, met us at the airport and took us to our accommodation at the Victoria & Alfred waterfront.
As we entered the apartment, we were greeted by the most spectacular view of Cape Town harbor. But since we were holding tickets for the 11 o’clock ferry to Robben Island the next morning, we knew we had to get to bed early.
Since we had only 2 days in Joburg, Thope had suggested a visit either to Maropeng or Sun City. Google it, she had said, referring to Maropeng.
I’d never heard about Maropeng but when I discovered its background and that it had been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, there was no doubt where we’d go.
About an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, Maropeng, the “Cradle of Civilization” is the area where our ancestors lived for more than 3 million years. The earliest human fossils, the most famous of which, “Mrs. Ples,” believed to be a distant relative of humankind, were unearthed in the nearby Sterkfontein Caves.
When our travel agent told my friends and me that she’d booked us for two days in Victoria Falls, we balked. None of us was convinced we’d need that length of time to look at water, no matter how spectacular it was. Boy, were we wrong!
We arrived in Vic Falls on a beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon after a pleasant trip from Johannesburg. As we left the arrivals lounge, we were greeted by the sound of drumming and singing. We couldn’t help but watch as this agile and athletic group of musicians greeted us. It was a fitting welcome to Zimbabwe.
Since we were leaving the next morning to watch game at Hwange National Park, we knew we had only a few hours to see the Falls. Our plan was simple: check in at the hotel, grab a bite to eat and head out.