A place which makes you dream. Cape Point is the meeting point between the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. I have been there three times already and each time it’s been completely different.
First time, back in 2004, we arrived quite late and stayed right until sunset. The contrast was amazing, while the sky above one ocean was getting dark very quickly, the sky above another ocean was joyful with shades of purple and orange. Next time, in 2005, it was very windy and the cape was hidden by low clouds.
Third time, in May of 2012, the day was sunny and glorious, but we weren’t allowed to stay for too long because someone important from the Indian ruling establishment, their President in fact, was visiting and all tourists were asked to clear the area. As a result, we only had an hour to do our sightseeing so we had to run around like crazy and take pictures of everything (well, that was mostly me to be honest!).
Named the ‘Cape of Storms’ by Bartolomeu Dias in 1488; the ‘Point’ was treated with respect by sailors for centuries. By day, it’s a navigational landmark and by night, and in fog, it was a menace beset by violent storms and dangerous rocks that over the centuries littered shipwrecks around the coastline. A decade later, Vasco da Gama navigated the same route and sailed up the coast of Africa, successfully opening a new trading route for Europe with India and the Far East. An explorer named John II of Portugal later renames it as the “Cape of Good Hope” because of the great optimism engendered by the opening of this new sea route to India and the East.
In 1859, the first lighthouse was completed. It still stands at 249 meters above sea level on the highest section of the peak and is now used as the centralized monitoring point for all the lighthouses on the coast of South Africa.
It is easy to see how so many sailors’ hopes to navigate the cape coastline were wrecked. The ocean here is so powerful and the rocks are so sharp, I still don’t understand how anyone could have done it so many centuries ago.
There are few ways to get around here: you can walk up the hill and then all the way down to the lighthouse, but make sure to have plenty of time for that or you can take a cable car up the hill, although the only way to get down to the lighthouse is through walking.
A smart idea is to stay right ’til the sunset, although make sure to leave the territory by 6.30pm, they close the gates and you might end up sleeping in the car or get fined. :)
Also, beware of baboons! Don’t feed them or get close to them! They’re super aggressive!
Cape of Good Hope
6:00am – 6:00pm
Flying Dutchman Funicular
9:00am – 5:30pm
Two Oceans Restaurant
9:00am – 5:00pm
written by neja on 2012-09-03 #places #ocean #south-africa #lighthouse #sailors #people #cape-point #select-type-of-location #cape #cape-of-good-hope #location #natural-reserve #grand #birds #cape-town #nature #rocks #cliff #boats #water #grandeur #escape-from-the-city