02.02.2017 - 02.02.2017
Greenmarket Square, Saint George's Cathedral, Groote Kerk, Bo Kaap and swimming at Saint John's in Sea Point.
This was our last full day. We were leaving early the next morning. We decided to pay for another full day on the big red hop on hop off bus in order to have transport.
We took the red bus to the main office on Long Street then hopped on the yellow route to go all the way around the old town. We then walked from Long Street to Greenmarket Square where I bought a beautiful African doll.
Saint George's Cathedral
From Greenmarket Square we walked to Saint George's Cathedral. Saint George's Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Cape Town. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker to replace an earlier church built on the same site.
Saint George's Cathedral is often referred to as the "people's cathedral", because of the political stance it took against apartheid. Desmond Tutu, the first black archbishop of South Africa, led numerous anti-apartheid marches and campaigns from the front steps of Saint George's Cathedral.
Saint George's Cathedral has several beautiful stain glass windows. I was very impressed with its African Madonna and child sculpture which I thought was extremely beautiful, unfortunately my photos of it are not quite sharp enough.
The Slave Lodge
From Saint George's Cathedral we walked to the nearby Slave Lodge. It cost 30 rand to go inside. The Slave Lodge is one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town and dates back to 1660. As well as being used as a Slave Lodge, this building has been used as a brothel, a jail, a mental asylum, a post office, a library, the Old Supreme Court and a museum.
When it was a Slave Lodge this building was once home to as many as 1000 slaves. They were kept here in damp, insanitary, over-crowded conditions until as late as 1811.
I must admit I do not generally like museums very much. I really really did not like this one. This was because it jumped from one area to another and was all over the place. Downstairs there was a bit on slavery which was what I was interested in learning about; then about human rights under apartheid, then about clothes worn for a street carnival. When I went upstairs there was silverware, pottery, a model of an old shop, an exhibit made out of vinyl records. I was just left confused. Nothing seemed to link it all together. Don't be put off by my description though as I said I'm not at all a museum fan.
After the Slave Lodge we crossed the street to the Groote Kerk. I thought this was an absolutely beautiful building, with a wide open spacious feel quite different from most churches. The Groote Kerk is a Dutch Reformed church which was built by Herman Schuette in 1841. This church is South Africa's oldest place of worship. This church has an amazing pulpit with two large wooden lions carved on it. This is the work of Anton Anreith and carpenter Jacob Graaff.
We don't normally eat out early, but Cape Town is not a place to wander around in the dark, so we decided lunch out it was, and we ate it in Shwarma Cafe, 8-9 Short Market Street. This place has excellent cheap and tasty food.
When we ordered two bottles of very reasonably priced beer, we were surprised that the bottles were huge 750ml each. We ate a Boerewors roll and fish and chips made with hake. Both were delicious and excellent value. This place is always busy and for very good reasons. It's excellent and it's cheap.
After eating and drinking it was back to the hop on hop off red route. We took the bus to Bo Kaap. It was a very, very windy day, the Cape Doctor, as the strong wind here is known, was whistling all around town. We had to fight to stay upright.
Bo-Kaap used to be known as the Malay Quarter; most of its residents are descended from former slaves. It is located on the slopes of Signal Hill. Bo-Kaap is famous for its brightly coloured houses and cobble stone streets.
I thought Bo Kaap looked lovely in pictures I had seen prior to our visit, but I was not expecting such heavy traffic. Between dodging the wind and dodging the cars it was most certainly not the most relaxing experience I have ever had.
Swimming at Saint John's in Sea Point.
Finally after Bo Kaap we jumped back on the red route hop on hop off bus and went to St John's Road, Sea Point where we bought a ticket to use Sea point Public Swimming Pools for 22 rand each. If you want a locker bring your own padlock. We spent an extremely enjoyable afternoon swimming here. The perfect end to our holiday.