Table Mountain! Cape Town, South Africa

table7Apparently there was some decision made to declare a new Seven Natural Wonders of the World list. I had no idea. However, they seem to have done an okay job choosing their wonders, as Table Mountain is on the list. It’s definitely some sort of wonder.

It’s pretty much impossible to go anywhere in Cape Town and not see Table Mountain. So after a couple days in town, this visit to the top felt a bit like quenching a nagging curiosity. I’d been constantly loomed over by the mountain, and was going to finally get a chance to look down for a change.

We chose a hot, sunny day and took
the cable car up in the evening. Ideally, with enough time to stroll around a bit, then catch a nice sunset. We’d originally considered hiking up, but by the afternoon we were a couple beers too many, and about ten degrees too hot. Next time though the hiking is going to be the way to go.

The cable car is actually quite a cool little experience itself. I’ve ridden my fair share of funiculars, or whatever you want to call them. However, this one was very neat. The car is round, and the interior rotates as you go. So everyone in the car gets exactly the same amount of view. The added bonus of the rotating is the tourists that refuse to listen to the simple announcement. It’s fun to watch as they desperately cling to the railing and are dragged slowly around against their will.  Either way, it’s a cool design, and a nice ride.

Now on to the obvious part. Being up on Table Mountain is fantastic! I’m not even really sure what I can really say. The view is great, in three directions. There’s also a lot to see up top. We were a bit rushed as we didn’t feel like missing the last cable car down for the night. Otherwise, it would have been a cool area to walk around. Apparently, there are heaps of flower varieties on Table Mountain. Also some interesting, and I assume small, wildlife. These things being even more of a reason to do the hike up next time.

I was actually a little sad that both days I spent in Cape Town were so damn idyllic. Blue skies all around. This disappointment was partly due to my dislike of sunburns, but also in part because of the legend of old Captain Van Hunks. Doesn’t that name just inspire in your imagination the visage of a smoldering, ladies man, type of pirate? Anyway, he was a salty old pirate captain who retired in Cape Town. Old Captain Beefcake quite enjoyed hiking up Table Mountain, where he would sit, smoke, and enjoy the view. It’s said that one day he met a stranger up there, brags were exchanged, and they ended up embroiled in a smoking contest. I’m not really certain what kind of contest that is, but a wrestling match or comparison of nicest hair wouldn’t work at all for the legend. The two men smoked so much that huge clouds of smoke gathered about them. Which, they say, is where the unique phenomena of clouds rolling off the top of Table Mountain comes from. It turned out, by the way, that the stranger was the devil himself. So take that and smoke it nephologists.

Here is a small album of our photos from an evening on Table Mountain. Until our next time up the mountain, when we’ll have more interesting hiking photos.

table-mountain
Click the picture to go to the photo album :)

//Shawn

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