Day 93, Mon., April 8, 2013 — Cape Town, SA

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     We had an early start for today.  I organized another tour with Warren on Cruise Critics for a city and table mountain tour.  This is a description of the tour: 

“No visit to Cape Town is complete without a half day tour of the mother city itself. After departing the ship we head for Table Mountain. Enjoy the crisp air and clear visibility as you reach the summit (weather permitting). Our guide will point out the highlights of one of the world’s most famous views. After the decent, enjoy a scenic coastal drive through Clifton and Sea Point to the city centre to Green Market Square. We stretch our legs with a walk through the Company Gardens. The tour continues with a drive past the Houses of Parliament, the City Hall, The Castle and Slave Lodge, before entering the "Bo Kaap", also known as the Malay quarter. The architecture in this area is typical of what Cape Town was like 200 years ago. You will be dazzled by the diamond tour where we learn about the history of these sparkling gems before returning you back to the ship.”

     Luke was our guide again.  Unfortunately, it was rainy early in the morning and we did not get to go to the top of Table Mountain.  It did clear up at noon when our tour was over.  You can see it in the panoramic picture at the top of this page.  We saw a piece of the Berlin Wall.  We stopped at the museum, a street market, a church and the Diamond Store.  Oh what beautiful jewelry!  They showed us how they cut and polished diamonds.  It was a nice drive through the city.  It was another great tour.

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     When we got back to the ship we had lunch and a quick rest.  We then took the shuttle bus and got off at the Red Shed and looked at all the crafts.  There were many small stalls all in one place.  Then we went through the Blue Shed and then into the mall.  Guess what we found,  a supermarket!  Ray could not find his raisin cookies but we bought wafer cookies and a few other items.  We found our way to the other end of the mall to the shuttle stop and went back to the ship.  We had a little bit of time before dinner.  Our entertainment tonight was a local group, “African Masala”.    “Masala” traditionally describes a mixture of many spices and thus works perfectly as a name for a theatre piece featuring many of Africa’s vast range of cultural musical and dance styles.  There was a tube and a stick waiting for us at our seat.  We did not get to keep the tube and stick, but we used them to play a song.  There were 6 different colors and lengths of sticks.  Each one played a different tone.  The woman on stage directed us without talking to us.  It would be great for a music teacher to teach rhythms.  This was an excellent show.  One of the young men sang “O Sol O Mio” and blew the house down.  This is one video you will have to see.  This is a picture of everyone taking a bow.

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“For one human being to love another:  that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks.  The ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.”  ~  Rainer Maria Rilke

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