Since we had bad weather on November 30 when we were supposed to see Robben Island and Table Mountain, we had to find another day to visit both.
On December 2 we headed to the waterfront to see if the weather would allow us to visit Robben Island. All the morning tours were booked but we got ourselves on a 3pm boat.
|So we had to kill some time at the waterfront|
|Only 10,371 miles to San Francisco|
|Paul didn't want to get in the frame|
|Finally on the boat and of course it gets overcast but it's still a nice view of Table Mountain|
|But we're happy to finally be on our way|
|Robben Island - about an hour boat ride from the waterfront|
|Table Mountain and Robben Island|
|Some seals hanging out|
|We were taken on buses for the first part of the tour|
Robben Island served as a prison in the late 17th century when the Dutch sent their convicts there but between the late 17th century and 1959, it was home to a hospital, a leper colony and an asylum for the mentally ill. Starting in 1961, Robben Island became a maximum security prison for political prisoners and a medium security prison for criminal prisoners.
Our tour started with a bus ride which drove us past the freestanding cell where Robert Sobukwe (another political activist against apartheid who founded the Pan Africanist Congress) was held in solitary confinement for 6 years (sorry, no photo from the bus) and the limestone quarry where freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela would do hard labor for many hours a day. Before heading inside the prison, we stopped for a break.
|A view of the Robben Island lighthouse|
|After the tour on the bus, a former Robben Island political prisoner showed us around (we arrived a bit late so I didn't catch his name)|
|Our guide is pointing out what prisoners had to sleep on|
|Everyone had a number because names were too hard to pronounce - number sequence 69/64 in this example means that the prisoner, Billy Nair, was the 69th prisoner in 1964. Most people know Nelson Mandela's - 466/64.|
|This shows the difference in meal plans - the left are what "Coloureds/Asiaties" would|
receive and and the right are what "Bantus" (or Blacks) would receive
|Walking towards cell block B|
|Cell block B courtyard|
|Entering cell block B - I just missed including the 4th window, which was the window of Nelson Mandela's cell|
|Not a very big courtyard|
|Cell block B; everyone is going towards the cell that Nelson Mandela stayed in|
|Cell #4 - Nelson Mandela's cell for 18 years of his 27 years in prison|
|Cell block B hallway|
|More than 3000 political prisoners were held on the island before the end of apartheid|
|Walking towards cell block A|
|Leaving the area|
|The tour was very educational and I'm glad we got the chance to learn more about the freedom fighters |
who were imprisoned here
After a bumpy ride back to the V&A Waterfront, Paul needed to let off some steam.
|The elephant had it coming|
|To end the day, we decided to catch Catching Fire in a "luxury" theater where you|
basically sit in a La-Z-Boy