Postcard of elusive mountain

A taste of San Francisco

The Waterfront

Not so typical African carving


CAPETOWN.......... I had such good intentions of spending my long weekend with the chimpanzees in Zambia, but the owners were out of the country and I couldn't visit.  So, what else was there to do but fly to Capetown for the weekend?

Everyone I talked to in Lusaka spoke of Capetown as being heaven on earth - or at least the closest thing to heaven in that part of the world.  It was so clean, convenient, modern, and beautiful.  The place was cheap under normal circumstances, but the rand had fallen due to the problems in Zimbabwe.  That made South Africa even more of a bargain.

I had my list of things to do in the city.  One item on my list was to visit Table Mountain.  It dominated the skyline of Capetown.  There was a cable car ride to the top that gave a spectacular view.  Well, that was what they wanted me to believe.  May wasn't really the best time to be a tourist in the city.  Winter was setting in.  It was cold and cloudy.  I never even saw Table Mountain the entire weekend.  I was not convinced it existed - but I did buy a few beautiful post cards.  Maybe some artist painted the mountain in the background?  Certainly somebody touched up the colors.   

As I said, I'd planned going up Table Mountain, enjoying the view of the city and surrounding peninsula.  And, as I said before, there really was no mountain.  Alternative plans were arranged.  In Capetown, that wasn't a problem.  I stayed a short distance from the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront.  It was a functioning shipping dock, but it couldn't have been the main source of income for the area.  The Waterfront was similar to Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, but on a larger scale.  There were craft shops, malls, theaters, an aquarium, restaurants, and endless excuses to lose your rand.  I lost my share, too.  Fortunately, most of the purchases were on my summer shopping list.  Now, was it really possible to stay the entire day at the mall?  You bet.  Of course, over the course of the weekend I did see four movies. 

Don't spend all of your time at the mall.  You must see both Robben Island and Cape Point while in the Capetown area. 

Copyright 2000 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.