Thursday, 21 January 2016

Simon's Town - Exploring Cape Town

Hi everyone,
While Zen Again is in Simon's Town enduring high winds we've been exploring Cape Town.  Last week we stayed over for one night and this week we are staying for two.  Cape Town has plenty to see and do!

Last week we visited the Castle of Good Hope.  This spectacular fort dates back to the 17th century and houses a very interesting military museum inside.

Castle of Good Hope
We also visited the South African Museum which seems focussed on natural history but also has an excellent display of rock art.  The animal displays are very interesting too.

Spectacular rock art
We took a ride on the CitySightseeing red route bus which took us across town, up to the cable car lower station and then west to Camps Bay.  We hopped off in Camps Bay and had a great lunch while enjoying the view across the beach.

Camps Bay beach
Yesterday we spent much of the day at the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.  These extensive gardens reminded us of Kings Park in Perth.  But while Kings Park has plants from all over the world Kirstenbosch has purely South African plants.  That's because southern Africa has an amazing diversity of plants, being considered one of only six floral kingdoms globally.

Kirstenbosch is overlooked by spectacular hills
Fanfare Heath (type of Erica fynbos)
Erica fynbos
Boomslang ("tree snake") boardwalk
One of many sculptures in the gardens
Today we visited the National Gallery.  It has a large display of art from during and after apartheid in addition to the usual old paintings.

A  Grim Reaper constructed of computer bits - Cyber Reaper?
Powerful anti-apartheid imagery
Extraordinarily colourful art
Interesting sculptures too
In between all this culture we've been enjoying some of the many cafes and pubs around Cape Town. There are quite a few craft (micro-brewery) beers available.  Most are pretty good!

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