Robben Island: This island lies seven kilometers off the coast of Cape Town and was previously inhabited by political prisoners during the Apartheid era. The most famous of whom was Nelson Mandela, whose cell I saw. It was maybe 8×6 and had only a small desk, a thin piece of cloth to lie on, plus a wastebasket. It’s amazing how he stayed the person he was despite spending 27 years imprisoned in this cell. All tours of this island are given by former political prisoners.
What seemed most maddening for the prisoners is the beautiful view of Cape Town and Table Mountain from the island.
Sunset from Table Mountain: Table Mountain was absolutely stunning. Justifiably one of the seven nature wonders of the world, it can be seen from nearly anywhere in Cape Town. When the clouds roll in, it almost seems as if a tablecloth is covering the top.
Amina’s Take-aways: This food-cart was stationed right outside of our ship 24/7. Amina is a precious person; every morning I ordered two egg & tomato sandwiches (the best in the world), three samosas, and a bottle of water – all for a grand total of $2.50. I ate while chatting with her about my day’s plans.
Saying goodbye to her was surprisingly difficult. Despite only being around for six days, she sobbed while saying goodbye.
Toms and Rotary International Field Program: I’ve heard how Toms gives away one pair of shoes for each pair purchased, but it was pretty cool to give them away ourselves at Khayelitsha Township. We stopped at an orphanage, a school, and at Rotary International’s Nonceba project.
HintHunt: For this game, you’re trapped in a 200 square foot ways and have an hour to solve puzzles and figure out your escape. While I’m not allowed to spill many details (and taking photos was prohibited), I’ll stress that if you have an opportunity to play this game, do so. It was an absolutely amazing hour.
Spoiler Alert: We made it out with 1:19 to spare.
Mabu Vinyl: I watched the movie Searching for Sugarman just two days prior to arriving in the Cape. The pilgrimage to this emblematic record store was fulfilling, despite Sugar having the day off and them being out of Rodriguez records.
Cape Foods: Favorite foods included bobotie (rice with ground meat, raisins, and egg), koeksisters (twisted fried pastries), biriyani, and hoenderpastei (chicken pies). Below is an ostrich steaks served with samp and beans – little pieces of corn niblets with a slightly smoky, tomato bean stew sauce. The ostrich was served with a South African Amarula cream liqueur sauce which was absolutely divine.
Green Point Soccer Stadium: I made it to a World Cup stadium during a World Cup year. It may have been 4 years after the World Cup took place in South Africa, but it was amazing nonetheless. Getting a stadium tour tour to see locker rooms, grass heat lamps, and cells for rowdy fans was amazing. Next step: A World Cup stadium during the World Cup! (Russia 2018 anyone?)