on April 12, 2010
Cape Town has one of the most dramatic settings of any city in the world with the flat topped Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak, Lion’s Head and Signal Hill as its back drop and the Atlantic Ocean to the front. Cape Town is a very cosmopolitan colourful city welcoming 60% of South Africa’s tourists.No visit to Cape Town would be complete without a trip up Table Mountain and the day after we arrived it was a fantastic sunny, clear day so we headed for our visit as it is not always clear and the views both of the Mountain from the bottom and the views of Cape Town from the top are obviously best enjoyed when it is clear and Table Mountain has not got its table cloth covering it. Luckily we had no trouble getting to the cable car as the Peninsula Hotel offered an excellent, free shuttle service to the Mountain which also collected us and took us to the V&A waterfront and then again collected us for our return to the hotel.We bought tickets for the cable car which operates daily from 8.30 till 22.00 daily provided the weather is suitably not windy. The cost was 75 Rands per person (11 Rands to the £1 when we were there) which was pretty reasonable for a return journey and entrance to the Table Mountain part of the Cape Peninsular National Park.The cable cars are huge and hold 65 people. They are circular with windows all around and apparently have water in the bottom to help stabilise them when it is windy. On the way up the floor revolved so that everyone had a chance to view down wards and upwards. It did revolve quite slowly so you were not spinning as you ascended but it was quite a strange sensation none the less. On the way down our cable car floor didn’t revolve but I’m not sure if that was always the case or if it was because the cable car ‘driver’ was busy chatting to a couple of kids and let them talk on the phone and push buttons!When we got to the top we walked around looking at the various views of the city, the peninsular and Robben Island. There were terrific views of the Lion Head Mountain (which actually looks like a male lion sitting to me) and the new football stadium built for the World Cup 2010.There was a variety of flora on the Mountain top but we only saw a few lizards in the way of animal life. It was quite cool up on the top with a swift breeze so that we were unaware of quite how much sun we were getting and the two boys were quite burnt, we seemed to be okay but have been exposed to more sun recently I suppose. The boys spent the next day suffering a little with red noses and arms but they survived although their noses will probably peel!You could spend 10 minutes on the top or hours depending on how long you want to walk around for. There are several trails and lots to see so we spent about an hour and a half up there. There is a gift shop and a restaurant but we didn’t visit either of these, we had taken our own bottles of water with us so had no need for any purchases. There are also shops and cafes at the bottom of the Mountain which sold various souvenirs if you were interested.This is just something you must do if you ever visit Cape Town as it is just so much a part of this city.
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