Cape Town, South Africa, March 4, 2016
Robben Island was used as a slave prison (1657-1846) first by the Dutch and then by the English and later as a political prison from 1962-1991-
It was the home of Nelson Mandela for 18 of his 27 year prison sentence. His cell-
and the courtyard where he used to grow tomatoes-
Other South African Presidents who have spent time here are Kgalema Motlanthe and current president Jacob Zuma.
Our guide was a former prisoner from 1984-1991-
Prisoners slept on the floor with a pad and blanket until bunk beds were introduced-
Various buildings on the prison grounds include the Kramat where Muslim prisoners were buried-
The island was also used as a leper colony beginning in 1845 and many are buried here-
Prisoners sentenced to hard labor spent many hours in the limestone quarry-
February 11,1995, more than 1000 former political prisoners from all over South Africa, Mandela included, had a reunion where they all placed a rock at the quarry to build an Isivivanne - an African monument of remembrance for the fallen soldiers who fought against apartheid and a symbol of the unity of all people against apartheid-
The island has an area of only 2 square miles and is home to many penguins-
and Bank Cormorant -
The view of Cape Town and Table Mountain is beautiful. Table Mountain is 3km across the top, with Devil's Peak to the east and Lion's Head to the west-
Crab salad, tempura shrimp, salmon 'roses' and salmon and tuna sashimi.
Today about 200 people live on Robben Island. They are mainly workers at the museum and there is a primary school for their children-
It is unbelievable that so many died and lost years of their lives fighting for things we take for granted: dignity, respect and human rights. Looking at some of the townships and other inequalities on this continent, there is unfortunately still room for improvement.
Another interesting toilet sign-
I found a sushi train for supper-
I even splurged on dessert. I love the presentation-