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Two Oceans Aquarium

Hung out at the hotel reading email, hacking, etc. until about 11:00 then walked to the waterfront, intending to have an early lunch and take the tour of Robben Island. Succeeded on the lunch - excellent latte and Cape Seed Loaf sandwich at Sundance Coffee Co. on the Albert wharf. The sandwich was a 2 layer affiar of smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado, gerkins, and sliced (pickled?) onion on toasted bread not too dissilimar from the Cobb’s Bakery Cape Seed Loaf.

Got a better photo of the Tatoosh with Table Mtn in the background from the cafe.
As for the tour to Robben Island, it was sold out for today, so I booked on to the 11:00 tour for tomorrow. Spent some time at the Mendela Gateway reading the history of Robben Island, then wandered around the east side of the waterfront and foreshore. Passed a sculpture called “Still Life with Ice Cream Cone and Blue Cheese".

Wandered into a big music store on the Waterfront, but couldn’t really get enough of a handle on any South African music to make me want to buy anything. Then wandered through the unimpressive Craft and Wellness market, mostly because it was on the way to the Aquarium.

Spent the rest of the afternoon in the Two Oceans Aquarium. The display of Indian Ocean fish that drew me in was not that impressive, but many of the other displays were; in particular, the giant spider crabs, the kelp tank, and the huge preditors tank, featuring several ragged tooth sharks. Those sharks are one of this aquariums specialities, like orcas, belugas, and harbour seals are at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Dinner was hosted by Susan’s workshop at Panama Jack’s Seafood Restaurant. It’s in an unlikely location in amongst warehouses and container yard in the working port, and looks a bit like a covered beer garden from the outside, but the food was really good. The long, 8 to 12 seat tables worked well for the group of 50 or so from the workshop. I had a piece of grilled Kingsklip with grilled vegetables, and Susan had a big mess of prawns with veggies. Wines were a sauvignon blanc and a merlot from Stellenbosch.

22:09:17 . 2008/10/07 . Doug . 361 words . 945 views . Travel .

Wandering Around Central Cape Town

Spent the day discovering Cape Town, walking in the city centre. Walked past the Aquarium and the Robinson Graving Dock, and across the foot bridges to the West Quay, and thence on to Dock Rd, and Coen Steytler Ave. Through pedestrian walkways among office buildings to Long St. Up Long St for a while, but it was boring, so turned down Shortmarket St, across the bottom of Greenmarket Sq, and stopped for cofffee at St George’s Mall. Took photo of blind guitar player with unique, upright style, and gave him a couple of Rands.

Continued on Shortmarket St until it becamse Darling St. Past the art deco Old Mutual building, the Grand Parade, City Hall, and around the Castle of Good Hope.

Wandered through the CBD and eventually found the tourist office. Picked up lots of flyers from day trip operators, and found out that the blue route of the hop-on hop-off City Tour bus will take us to the Botanical Garden.

Walked up St. George’s Mall to the cathederal, and continued on Queen Elizabeth St, and into the Company’s Garden. Lunch at the cafe in the garden: white wine, bacon tomato egg and cheese sandwich, and strawberries with cream.

On through the gardens to the South Africa Museum. Very interesting exhibit on stone carvings and rock paintings by the San people. Info about the Bleeker family who preserved language and culture of the San as they disappeared. Also cool exhibits on coelacanth and whales, and an interesting temporary photography exhibit.

Walked the length of Long St; the upper part is a lot less boring than the lower. Retraced route back to Waterfront and hotel, passing the mega-yatch Tatoosh tied up in front of the Cape Grace Hotel. Tatoosh sports 2 helicopters, a 30 foot motor launch, and a 40 foot sailing “dinghy".

19:02:18 . 2008/10/06 . Doug . 300 words . 962 views . Travel .