I'll go out on a limb and say that Cape Town is the most spectacularly situated city in the world. In my defense, I live in Vancouver and have been to Sydney, both of which are regularly listed in the world's top five most beautiful cities, but for my money nothing compares with the looming dominance of Table Mountain or Lion's Head. And if that wasn't enough, there's also the rugged beauty of the Cape itself. Although they scarcely do it justice, look at these photos and judge for yourself!

Panorama

I took this series of shots from halfway up and along Table Mountain. Keep this in mind when you look at the shots of Table Mountain.
Follow the panorama by following the shots from left to right and top to bottom.


That's Lion's Head on the right. The last photos on this page were taken from its summit.

You can see Robben Island in the bay, the prison island where Nelson Mandela, among others, was imprisoned during the apartheid era. It's now a museum.


Table Mountain

These two shots show Table Mountain's distinctive shape well. When its top is skimmed by clouds, locals say the "table is set."
Look closely and you can see the cable-car station at the top-right edge of the mountain.


Left: Table Mountain, right: Lion's Head.


Fish Hoek


Fish Hoek is an idyllic village on the False Bay side of the Cape, backed by the mountains of the Cape with a great beach on the bay you see in this picture.
We went on holiday here a couple of times when I was a boy, and I learned to snorkel here, so I have some great memories of the place.


Cape Point

These shots were taken at Cape Point, at the very tip of the Cape of Good Hope. It's the windiest place in Africa being the point at which the cold Atlantic and warm Indian Oceans meet.
If I look sunburned, it's because I'd just spent the day riding around the whole Cape on a scooter I rented for a mere $40. Fantastic fun!


Wind, hair, sunburn.

I struck up a conversation with this fellow, a German, since he too rode up on two wheels. Turned out he had motorcycled the entire length of Africa!

Vertigo!


Lion's Head at Sunset

The night before I flew out of South Africa, I climbed Lion's Head at sunset with two others from the hostel I was staying at. It's a fairly hard climb (at one point you have to haul yourself up a particularly steep bit on chains) but the view from the top once we got there, washed down with a bottle of good South African wine, made it more than worth it. The gale force wind made things interesting as it alternated between dead calm and almost being blown off the mountain as we wound our way to the top.


Looking way down at Clifton beach.

The shadow of Lion's Head cast over Cape Town gives a good idea of how high up we are.

Yikes! The wind's really blowing around my hair.
If you look closely, you can see the Table Mountain cable car station.

The tropical sun can be very flattering!

Of course no slide show of Africa is complete without a sunset.
The smoke is from fires on the Cape.

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