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  1. #1
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    Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa

    Some pictures from my trip there in November 2010 and some narrative where I can remember what happened

    This trip was primarily for a week of rest and relaxation after two hectic weeks in Zambia. From what I can recall, after all the stuff we did there we were gratified, but tired, and looking forward to the downtime before the long flight back to Toronto through London. Our departure from Lusaka was staggered; one team member was going back to Toronto and I was the first one to Cape Town where I would wait for the arrival of the others. The plan was to spend a night in Jo'burg and fly out the next day to Cape Town where we would spend three days before coming back for two days in Jo'burg.

    We flew with South African Airlines on both legs of the trip. From Lusaka to Jo'burg, the plane could hold maybe 50 passengers and there was only one flight attendant. She was very efficient and held her own in ensuring everyone was comfortable.

    What I found interesting was that even though we were told to get the necessary immunization for entry into SA before leaving Toronto, we were not asked to show proof. I'm not sure what was the point of it being "required" coming from Zambia, especially because our passports were stamped with the Zambian visa. Also, before being allowed to go to the immigration officer, the security people seem to arbitrarily take the pictures of selected passengers; stop, look at the camera, click and then go. I got mine taken. More power to them.

    Anyways, I pick up the report in Cape Town. I will get back to Jo'burg on the back end.
    aka ChurchDude. I want that moniker back! Until then....

    "Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to"
    ~ Anon

  2. #2
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    My body may be stuck here.... but my heart is in Jamaica.
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa

    I was supposed to go to South Africa and quite frankly I was a bit nervous about it. Is it as beautiful there as people say? Were you well received? Any tips or pitfalls to avoid?

    I look forward to the photos.

    By the way, who is "we"? (Not that it is any of my business.)

  3. #3
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa

    It didn't take long for me to fall in love with Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad; Xhosa: iKapa). The second-most populous city in South Africa is quite the melting pot of culture and history. We quickly settled into the Holiday Inn Express (HIE) in the downtown core. Being the only male in the group and with so much to do and see, I figured I would have tons of time to explore. This could be a lot of fun.

    The HIE was really nice; much nicer than I experienced in some places in North America.



    The minute I stepped into my room, the bed started calling my name. It was at that point that I realized how tired I was,



    Loved the bathroom layout...



    The computer monitor doubled as the TV. Internet Access was a measly complementary 30 minutes, so basically we all collected our guest login information and "pooled" our minutes. We wouldn't be there that long to need access beyond confirming our return flights.



    But first things first. We were hungry and with one person among us being a flight attendant, she knew of the restaurant where the pilots frequented. I don't remember the name of it right now, but if I do, I'll mention it. So off we went, walking distance, looking for this place. By this time it was dark and the side streets rather quiet. After about 20 minutes, we came to a building with some bouncer-type guys standing in front of what was a grilled "gate" leading to the main door of the business. The lights on the streets were rather dim but we made out the name of the place and it was the restaurant. Thinking we looked decent enough to not be trouble-makers, they let us in. In one sentence, it was worth the experience. Awesome food, great ambiance, and though the owner was delightfully surprised to hear we were from Canada, we still paid full prices for our meals and glasses of wine. Well, the rest had wine, not me.

    After a couple of hours and feeling quite satiated, we headed back to the hotel. I planned on being up early to go exploring and was looking forward to a good night's sleep.
    aka ChurchDude. I want that moniker back! Until then....

    "Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to"
    ~ Anon

  4. #4
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa

    Hey <span style="font-weight: bold">Tropi,</span> good to see you Cape Town was beautiful; Jo'burg not so much, especially in the South Western Townships (SOWETO). I'll fill in the rest as the report goes on. As for the &quot;we&quot;, this trip was on the back end of a mission trip to Zambia so the others were friends/team members.
    aka ChurchDude. I want that moniker back! Until then....

    "Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to"
    ~ Anon

  5. #5
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa

    Next morning, bright and early, I was on the road with my camera in tow. I figured I could get a couple hours of walk time in before getting back for breakfast with the others. After taking an arbitrary route and within 5 minutes of stepping out, I quickly came upon what I would later learn was the parliamentary building. From my vintage point, on this day, I could only see a part of it. We will come back to it later.



    Below is a museum with an exhibition on at the time about remembering slavery.



    &quot;The Company Garden&quot; is a large public park and botanical garden set in the heart of Cape Town. Just about everybody seem to either hang out or walk through here. Not only is there an art gallery within the park, but it is also the venue of a number of festivals, including the Human Rights Concert and the Youth Festival. One could think of it as an arts and multicultural hub. Google it for more information.



    It was here that I met John. He saw me taking a picture of the parliamentary building and quickly introduced himself. After finding out I was from out of town, he volunteered himself to be my &quot;tour guide&quot; through the garden. He was an amazing man; casually dressed in tee-shirt and shorts, well spoken, with a great attitude and a wealth of knowledge on the history of Cape Town. He was also a Christian and homeless. More on him later.

    Looking straight ahead...

    aka ChurchDude. I want that moniker back! Until then....

    "Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to"
    ~ Anon

  6. #6
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa

    Going through the garden...


    This tree is so massive and old that it needs to be propped up.


    Cape Town's &quot;White House&quot; - the home of the president who spends half of the year here.





    They refer to the garden as the &quot;Rose Garden&quot;
    aka ChurchDude. I want that moniker back! Until then....

    "Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to"
    ~ Anon

  7. #7
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa



    Re the sign below, it is hard to imagine this was just 20 years ago...


    The sign reads: In the 1960's a room in this building was the scene of formal hearings of the most bizarre and humiliating kind as ordinary people came before an appeal panel to argue about what &quot;race&quot; they should be labelled. Between 1950 and 1991, apartheid's Population Registration Act classified every South African as belonging to one of at least seven &quot;races&quot; - and accordingly granted or denied them citizenship rights on a sliding scale from &quot;White&quot; (full rights) to &quot;Bantu&quot; (with the fewest). The classification was subjective, and families were split apart when paler or darker skinned children or parents - or those with curlier hair or different features - were placed in separate categories.&quot;


    John....



    More later...
    aka ChurchDude. I want that moniker back! Until then....

    "Sometimes you have to let go to see if there was anything worth holding on to"
    ~ Anon

  8. #8
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa

    I love those hills in the background


  9. #9
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa

    I mean mountains


  10. #10
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    Re: Cape Town, Jo'burg - South Africa



    John....



    I like!


    Every obstacle is an opportunity in disguise.

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