Okay, so where did we leave off?

Day 4: Was spent around Cape town city proper. In the morning we went to Kristenbosch National Botanical Garden, which was huge. The garden covers an area of 1,300 acres, of which we covered a small portion in 3 hours.

If I were to ever live in Cape Town I could easily see Kristenbosch becoming my new Central Park. Later that afternoon we went to the Panafrican market and the Green Market to haggle with vendors for paintings. I came away with 2 medium sized pieces of work.

Day 5: Our last day in Cape Town but busy all the same. In the morning we visited Bo-Kaap, a Malay quarter in Cape Town with a large Islamic presence. The area is full of colorful houses and cobblestone streets.

We then went to the Archdiocese of Cape Town, no pictures were allowed in the cathedral, and walked around the green market once more, but this time sampled from many of the food vendors.

I next met up with my Mom Mom, Uncle, Aunt, and Aunt’s mom for a tour of Robins Island. The tour started off rough with a 45 minutes shaky boat ride to Robins Island. I am not prone to seasickness, but my nerves were on edge as the boat nearly went on its side and water came over the sides. I’ve never been on such a turbulent boat in my life!!

I recommend the tour of Robbins Island, but if possible take a newer boat.

Once we reached the island all was good. We started with a bus ride around the island where I learned about the history, the original purpose of the prison, and its transition into and out of a prison for political activists. After the bus tour we were given a tour of the prison itself by a former political prisoner, which I must say, made for an impactful tour. Hearing his personal story gave a completely different experience than simply walking through vacant rooms. He, personally suffered and endured the inhumane conditions of the prison.

The graves of lepers who died on the island which was originally a leper colony.

Up until a few years ago, there was a running school for the children of guards. Now children who live on the island must make the daily trip to the mainland for classes.

The prison

Original beds before the Red Cross stepped in and beds were provided.

Mandela’s cell

After the tour we headed back to the mainland and got ready for Thanksgiving dinner! My family and my new family (Ryan’s parents), Ray, our host and her local South African friends, shared in a traditional American Thanksgiving. There was turkey of course, and sweet potatoes made by me (with Japanese sweet potatoes so they were more yellow than orange and not as sweet), mac’n’cheese from my Mom Mom, cornbread from Ryan’s parents, and much more.

And we were surprised by the presence of Christmas Carolers.

 Then it was time for bed and our early rise to catch our 5:30 flight to Victoria Falls via Johannesburg.

One post left, the food!!!