Saturday, March 5, 2016

Cape Town, South Africa, March 4, 2016

Day 2 - Nico, chewing on his foot-

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- 

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-

Crab salad, tempura shrimp, salmon 'roses' and salmon and tuna sashimi.

I even splurged on dessert.  I love the presentation-

Looking forward to great white shark cage diving tomorrow!

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