A day on our own walking in Cape Town. We started with a walk through the Company Gardens which were started in 1652 by Dutch settlers to provide fresh produce for shipping on the way to the East. Today it is a beautiful green park in the middle of Cape Town. We passed by the House of Parliament in Cape Town. South Africa has two houses of Parliament - in Cape Town and Pretoria, alternating between the two for several months each year. We visited the District 6 museum which documented the forced removal starting in 1966 of black and coloured people from this area.
The Castle of Good Hope was the original fortress built by the Dutch in 1666. At the time, it was on the waterfront. Today, with foreshore infill, it is about 500 meters from the harbour. Our visit coincided with the ceremonial opening of the gate at noon. This was followed by a demonstration of loading and firing a cannon. A walk through the flower market, along Adderley Street and up Long Street (lively night area) completed our afternoon.
We ended the day with a visit to the Waterfront. This is a huge redevelopment of the old harbour area --- much bigger than anything in Vancouver, Auckland or perhaps even San Francisco. Hotels, malls, shops, restaurants, bars, entertainment abound along with plenty of pleasure craft. A ferris wheel was erected for the 2010 World Cup and, while it was intended as a temporary feature, it is still operating. Plenty of Christmas features on the waterfront and in the malls. A fun evening to end our vacation.