Snapshots: Cape Town in winter

This and that. Shot in June 2017.

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 Throwback. A “Non-Whites Only” bench in Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, erected as part of a Heritage Project a few years ago. Artist Roderick Sauls was commissioned to create two benches, marked “Whites Only” and “Non-Whites Only”, which mimic apartheid-era public benches. Benches labelled for whites and non-whites became a reality in 1953, when the Separate Amenities Act was passed. This Act, along with many other Apartheid-era acts, was scrapped in 1991.

 

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The Zeenatul Islam Masjid on the corner of Chapel and Muir Streets, District Six, was established in 1922. This masjid was a focal point of religious and cultural activities of the people of District 6, according to the Zeenatul Islam Masjid website (http://zeenatul-islam.com/). Situated in the city bowl close to the railway station and the harbour, the masjid hosted many foreign dignitaries and guests over the years, and is a popular mosque for visitors to Cape Town.

 

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Brightly coloured change rooms at St James beach, situated between Muizenberg and Kalk Bay along the False Bay Coast. The suburb is situated between the rocky shore and a steep mountain. Its name derives from the early St James Catholic Church, built around 1880.

 

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Groot Constantia is the oldest wines farm in South Africa. The history of the farm dates back to 1685 when it was granted to its first owner, Simon van der Stel. He arrived at the Cape in 1679 to take over the post of Commander, later upgraded to that of Governor. For more info or to book a tour, visit https://www.grootconstantia.co.za/

 

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A sunny winter’s day is a good time to summit Table Mountain, one of the world’s New 7 Wonders of Nature. Approximately 1 million people from across the world use the Cableway to reach the top of this iconic Cape Town landmark each year. Opened on 4 October 1929, the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway  has a proud history of being completely accident-free. The cableway has been upgraded three times – in 1958, 1974 and 1997. The last upgrade saw the introduction of revolving floors to the cable cars, called Rotairs. Cable cars similar to the ones used at Table Mountain are in use at Titlis in Switzerland and Palm Springs in the United States.The cable cars take visitors up 704m, from the Lower Cable Station at 363m above sea level to the Upper Cable Station at 1 067m above sea level.

 

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Visitors cross the swing bridge to get to the Clock Tower precinct at the V&A Waterfront. The Victorian Gothic-style Clock Tower is an icon of the old Cape Town harbour. It was the original Port Captain’s Office built in 1882, according to the Cape Town Heritage website.

 

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The Bo-Kaap, formerly known as the Malay Quarter, is situated on the slopes of Signal Hill above the city centre and is an historical centre of Cape Malay culture in Cape Town. For more info, visit http://www.capetown.travel/visitors/see-do/top-attractions/bo-kaap/five-fascinating-facts-about-the-bo-kaap.

 

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Camps Bay is one of Cape Town’s most popular beaches, and great for those morning and evening winter strolls. The Blue Flag beach attracts a large number of foreign visitors in summer.

 

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For avid hikers, Lion’s Head is an essential ‘must-do’. Lion’s Head peaks at 669 metres (2,195 ft) above sea level. The peak forms part of a dramatic backdrop to Cape Town and is part of the Table Mountain National Park.

 

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The Green Point Urban Park is a little piece of paradise in the middle of the Mother City. Winter or summer, it’s a great place to relax.

 

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Cape Town is home to the Parliament of South Africa even though the seat of government is in Pretoria. This was part of a compromise agreed upon at the formation of the Union of south Africa in 1910. According to this compromise, Cape Town would be the legislative capital, Bloemfontein the judicial capital and Pretoria would be the administrative capital.

 

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Take a stroll down Government Avenue. The Company’s Garden is a park and heritage site located in central Cape Town. The garden was originally created in the 1650s by the region’s first European settlers and provided fertile ground to grow fresh produce to replenish ships rounding the Cape.
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