Day 35, Sunday, March 30, Cape Town, South Africa

The Crystal Symphony is in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. The Crystal Serenity is at sea from Cape Town to Walvis Bay, Namibia. The MS Amsterdam is at sea from Durban to Cape Town.

My morning walk was to the far end of the large port basin where it turned out there were still buildings between me and the sea and the clouds were quite thick, but the sun at least found a way to make itself known.

I set off at 9 on the HopOnHopOff bus’s outer loop, going as far as central Cape Town. Their map had marked out a 25-minute central walking tour with my church at about the 3/4 point of the walk. The walk took me along pedestrian and commercial streets, past St. Georges Cathedral, and through the Company’s Garden’s, There are several styles of landscape and a prominent statue of Cecil Rhodes, imperialist, philanthropist, and founder of both the colony of Rhodesia and Rhodes scholarships. The walk got me to Central Methodist Mission just in time for the 10AM service. It seemed to be quite a varied congregation, and the organ was lovely.

The remainder of the bus route was largely a country drive, with my one remaining stop being the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. On the way there we passed the hospital where the world’s first heart transplant had been done.

The Gardens are very large with a lot of diversity, and a wide variety of walking paths. In addition to the usual things you would expect in a botanical garden there was a display of petrified wood and a sculpture garden.

The remainder of the tour looped first through wine country and then back along the coast with lovely beaches on one side and grand mountains on the other.

I returned to the Waterfront about 3:30 and briefly toured Jetty 1, the transfer point for people going to Robben Island during it’s years as a leper colony and as a prison. There were 2 waiting rooms, one for visitors and a second for prisoners.

The final part of my day’s touring was the HOHO bus “Night
tour”. Leaving the V&A waterfront at 5:30, we essentially followed the red route in reverse, but going to Signal Hill instead of Table Mountain. Since I had been on most of the route twice already, the only new thing I noticed was a tower with a ball that used to be raised and dropped precisely at 1PM so ancient mariners could precisely set their watches, important for taking sextant readings.

At Signal Hill the views were superb but the real attraction was the sunset. The sun came down clearly and crisply, with a lovely orange color persisting after sunset. We returned through darkness by a more direct route, arriving back at V&A about 7:30.

When I returned to the hotel there was a message in the room with a driver’s name and pickup time for my safari tomorrow.

I’ll take as my parting shot a portion of Pastor Alan Storey’s Benediction, which was posted on a screen as he spoke. There are actually some other parts I liked better but wasn’t quick enough with the camera to capture them:

“May God bless us with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation, and war, so that we may reach out our hand to comfort them and turn their pain to joy”.


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