We woke to the “Table Cloth”, the famous cloud that commonly shrouds the mountain.
|The clouds pur over then dissipate|
It was a random thing. The coffee shop across the street did have power, but the building next door didn’t. About 50% of the buildings had some power, a few were on generators, and the others were dark. Our laundry lady did have power, so we dropped it and went home, and by the time we got home, the power was back on. Go figure.
Having burned up a lot of the morning, we opted to just visit the Castle of Good Hope, which is right across from City Hall and the Grand Parade, where Mandela made his first speech after being released.
|A pretty building|
|Note the sea, just meters from the front wall|
|The bell dates from the 1600's|
Inside, they give regular demonstrations of firing a cannon
|Loading the little guy|
|Pay 100R and you can set the cannon off|
The fort was build in the late 1600’s, and the castle’s interior has lots of original (though restored) stuff.
|Detailing above the entrance|
|The original 1600's water pump|
|Corridors and tunnels|
|Cannon ports on the ramparts|
|Talk about aiming at the British|
|A different view than when the castle was built|
|Fortifications behind the walls|
|The Governor lived in the centre cross|
|The entrance to the armoury|
|The Governor's balcony|
|Looks like no fun at all|
|Rented out for weddings|
|City hall next door|
|That tower used to be the ocean|
The detail work in the original stone walls is stunning.
|The rock mostly came from quarries on Table Mountain|
|Tools of a blacksmith|
|Oh, I hope it's real...|
The Castle isn’t exciting; the military museums have too many narratives and things to read, aren’t laid out chronologically, and are confusing, though the weapons from the 1600’s to the 1940’s are interesting. There’s a museum of the interior furnishings of the 1700’s and they’re beautiful, but out of context. There’s a “long table” that seats 100, but it’s just a bunch of tables for 4 jammed together. And the “castle” isn’t a castle; like Naarden, it’s a fortress.
But it was perfect for us today. We were done by 3, had laundry in hand by 4, were packed for our safari departure tomorrow by 5, and were on the balcony with wine in hand for sunset – ready for this to be my home for the next 21 days.
|Our truck, I think, parked and ready to fly|
Today's Africa Travel Tips: Alcohol
I admit it, I’m a wino, and Southern Africa is an awesome place to be a wino, and to drink in general. Perfectly good wine is available here for R30-R40, and really good wine for R50-R80. That’s $3-$4 and $5-8. In restaurants, it is rare to find wine over R150 (unless the restaurant is stupid expensive, and even they are rare). The price increases and selection decreases the farther you get from South Africa, but not by much (except in Vic Falls). Wine is sold in grocery stores, in specialty liquor stores attached to grocery stores, and in specialty wine stores.
It’s also great to drink G&T’s here, which can be regularly had in a lounge or bar for between R20 and R40 ($2-$4). In fact, it’s so cheap (and we’re talking Gordon’s gin or Bombay Sapphire) that they’re always suggesting you have doubles, because it’s R10 more. Now, this I find more interesting, because Bombay Sapphire is still about R250 for a 750 ml bottle, not a lot more expensive than home. But their mark ups in bars are so much lower.
Put cheap wine and cheap food together and we haven’t had a meal that has broken $75 Canadian, and our average is $42, always including appies & mains & a dessert & wine.