Day 339

Today I got up about 0630 and had the almond croissant that I got from yesterday for breakfast. I got ready to go out and then at about 0800 off I went. I went back to the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, this time armed with my map. I parked in the same car park as last time and parked very near to where I parked last time.

My first stop of the day was ‘The Springbok Experience Museum’ – all about rugby funnily enough. The first section of the museum was some fun interactive activities and then you went upstairs to learn about the history of the Springboks. It was fascinating, I learnt some new facts about rugby and so much about the team too. Naively I had no idea how many issues surrounding Apartheid and rugby there were.

 

 

My next stop was ‘Africa Trading Port’ (lots of little craft shops), I had a wander and bought a couple of bits. I then headed to ‘Nelson Mandela Gateway’ and at 1100 boarded a boat and headed to Robben Island. The boat ride lasted about half an hour and provided stunning scenery of course, we even saw a couple of seals and penguins to make the journey even better.

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We arrived at Robben Island and the first stage of the tour was a bus tour. We were driven around in a coach with a tour guide and she gave us lots of information about the different places we saw, like the limestone quarry, the school, the church, etc. We had a little break with a stunning view of Table Mountain. I bought granadilla juice, a chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate bar for lunch and then we carried on with the bus tour. After the bus tour was the walking tour. We were taken into the Maximum Security Prison and were spoken to for quite a while by a guide. He is actually an ex-political prisoner of Robben Island. It was fascinating to listen to him, he wasn’t just reciting facts about the prison he was actually telling us his story. It was incredible to listen to him, after he had told us his story he showed as around a bit more and then we also saw Nelson Mandela’s solitary confinement cell. There was then time for a quick look around the gift shop and then it was back on the boat for the half an hour ride back.

 

 

We arrived back to the dock and I headed back to the car to change back into flip-flops. I then went for a wander around the Food Market (there was so much to choose from, I was overwhelmed and didn’t buy anything)! Next I wandered around the Alfred Mall and Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre. I bought a couple of little souvenirs and gifts. There were so many shops in the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, it’s huge, you could spend days in there! I made my way back out and went to Cafe Alfredo to have an early dinner. I had a chorizo and caramelised onion pizza with an orange milkshake – both were delicious. The waterfront has lots of busking areas, there was a band near me called the Ikamva Marimba Band. They were really good but it just confused my brain, sitting in the sun with pizza and milkshake, listening to a marimba band playing Christmas songs – it just seemed so strange!

 

 

I headed across to the Volvo Ocean Race area and had a look around there and then went back to the car to drive home. I made the mistake of going during rush hour, it was pretty chaotic. There are so many of the minibus taxi things, and they seem to have made it their mission, or maybe they have a competition going to change lanes as much as possible – they are a nightmare. They don’t always indicate either, they just wave their arm out the window and then go! I made it back to the hotel safely, in one piece and had a nice chilled evening. I did some university work, sorted my photos, read for a while and then went to sleep.

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