Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Robbin Island and V & A

After a much needed rest day yesterday, I headed down to the Victorian & Albert Waterfront here in Cape Town this morning, and met up with Charles for breakfast and to catch the ferry to Robbin Island.

30 minutes across the water in the ferry, we were then loaded onto a bus for a tour of the island by a local resident. History aplenty on this island, including the housing of people with leprocy and then the mentally ill, before being the place where black political prisoners were held...right up until 1996....that's shocking! The stories when lead through the Lime Quarry told us how tough and demoralising the treatment here was for these prisoners.

A tour of the Maximum Security Prison was conducted by Derek, a man who was held there for five years from when he was eighteen, for being part of an anti-apartheid demonstration. His story, and recount of the conditions was compelling. He showed us the group cells, the yard, and then the solitary cells where the stronger political figures were kepts for years and years and years, including Nelson Mandela.

After a rough ferry back to the mainland, we wondered around the waterfront shops and boardwalk for a bit, before having a seafood lunch overlooking the Waterfront with Table Mountain starting to gain it's table cloth of cloud cover. (More photos)

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