V and A Waterfront
Cape Town - South Africa
Waterfront and harbour taken from Signal Hill
Today was a beautiful day, there was no wind, it was warm,
about 25 degrees celsius. A day to die for in Cape Town.
At this time of the year we do not often get days like
this so I took the opportunity to visit Signal Hill and then the Waterfront.
Signal Hill lies to the north of Table Mountain and has
some fantastic views over Table Bay, Cape Town and the Waterfront.
The entrance to Signal Hill is lined with proteas at
the moment, a really beautiful sight.
Once on Signal Hill the view out over the bay was absolutely
beautiful, with Robben island in the middle of the bay which was
a lovely turquoise blue colour today.
Scattered around the bay were thirteen ships waiting to enter the harbour.
Most of them most probably diverted around the Cape because of the Iraqi war.
While I was watching them one of them started up its engines
and sent a huge pall of smoke into the air. The smoke hung
above the ship like a balloon, not moving or even dispersing.
It was so quiet up on the hill that you could
hear the sounds of the city below.
After watching the activities in the harbour and the
antics of the the two ugly sisters ( two large tugs
in the harbour) I decided to go down to the harbour to
get a closer view of the ships entering the harbour.
When I got there the container ship that had put up
the pall of smoke was just entering the harbour
accompanied by the ugly sisters.
It is fascinating to watch how they operate.
One attaches a line to the bow of the ship
and the other does the same at the stern.
The tug at the stern reverses into the harbour while
the one at the bow goes in forwards. Its amazing
how maneuvarable the tugs are.
Business was brisk and the many ferry boats in the
harbour were doing a roaring trade taking people
on water tours of the harbour and out into the bay.
At the south end of the V and A Waterfront complex there
is an old clock tower that has been there for many years.
It has recently been refurbished and now has pride of place
at the new Nelson Mandela gateway to Robben Island.
When I arrived it was swarming with police and security
officials all armed to the hilt, so being inquisitive
I asked what was going on.
There was apparently a contingent of foreign cabinet
ministers that were being taken out to Robben Island.
As I sat and watched about a 100 dignatories climbed
onto the ferry accompanied by police and escorted
by a police coastal patrol boat all the way to the island.
Between the clock tower and the main waterfront
area is a canal used by shipping.
A moveable pedestrian bridge which works like the
boom of cranes used for construction of large
buildings has been built over the canal to allow
access to both sides of the waterfront and the shopping malls.
The bridge was moved aside on a number of occasions to allow shipping to use the canal
while I sat and watched.
There were plenty of tourists about, some lying down
on the benches enjoying the sun and others enjoying
meals and drinks at some of the many restaurants
and pubs that are found in the harbour.
There were many buskers about as well. One guy was
doing a fire dance and maneuvering himself under
a bar that was on fire.
Another guy was playing his guitar while sitting
on his portable battery operated amplifier. He was
not very good but he was playing some nice tunes
which added to the atmosphere.
There is plenty to do in the Waterfront, with some
very large shopping malls to spend your money in.
If you are not into shopping a visit to the
aquarium is well worth the effort.
There are a number of movie theatres and in the waterfront for those
who feel like taking in a movie.
For those who want to wake up with the sound of
the sea in their ears there are a number
of hotels in the Waterfront complex.
These hotels are built where there once was sea as
the whole of the Victoria and Alfred basin is
built on land reclaimed from the sea.
For those who are not aware of the fact, the
sea in the days of van Riebeeck (1650's) used
to lap at the edges of the Castle of the Cape
of Good Hope where Strand Street is today. This is about two
kilometres inland from where the sea is today.
For those who love beauty, Cape Town is the place to visit.
Email : Geoff Fairman
6 Bothma Street, Monte Vista 7460 South Africa
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Cape Town - V & A Waterfront
Page updated 17.6.2015