By Len Friesen, Tour Leader
Today we visited Robben Island, 5 miles off Cape Town in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The place and setting is full of contrasts. On the one hand, it is in a stunning location with fabulous views back on Table Mountain and the city perched beneath it. On the other, it was for several decades the most notorious prison in the world because it housed Nelson Mandela.
We toured the prison and took special note of Mandela’s former cell and conditions. After that we were driven around the island to get a better sense of its past and present, from former leper colony to modern day world heritage site.
After the tour we returned to the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront to catch our bearings and then head out for the afternoon. Some stayed at the Waterfront where they browsed the shops or visited the great “Two Oceans” Aquarium, others made their way back into the heart of Cape Town itself. As an experienced tour leader it remains one of my greatest thrills to watch people within a day or two feel at ease enough to explore a previously unknown city on the their own. Did I mention how enjoyable and considerate a group this is, start to finish?
We gathered for an evening meal that has just ended, back to the Waterfront and a seafood restaurant with the appropriate name of Ocean Basket. It has been a fine day in a special place.