Monday was our busiest day yet! We started with a ride up Table Mountain on the cable car. The floor rotated, which was a bit scary combined with the heights. The view from the top was a bit smokey as there is a wildfire burning near here. My sister and I took a video on the top that I will try to post later. Also, My sister had her hands all in some bush before a tour guide told us about the blister bush. She doesn't remember which bush it was, though, and is worried her hands will be covered in blisters any day now.
From there we took a taxi to the Castle of Good Hope and watched the noon cannon go off. It was a mini cannon, very funny to see a large man in full military garb dragging it across the yard. After that we walked around the roof of the castle and saw the military museum. The castle was this pastel yellow color with hunter green doors. Only one door was painted red because it had been a grain store converted to an artillery room. I don't think the original artillery storage room doors were red though. I never figured out why.
Next we went to Robben Island, which used to be a maximum security prison where Nelson Mandela was held. First was a bus tour which showed us the church and graveyard from the leper colonies way back when, the isolation cottage where activist leader Robert Sobukwe was held, bits of an old shipwreck (one of many off the island), camoflagued buildings from WWII, the community and school for people currently living and working on the island, as well as a couple of penguins! Afterwards we got a tour of the prison from a guide who is a former politcal prisoner from Robben Island. He showed us many bits of the prison, including Mandela's cell, and told us about the differences in what the blacks got versus the coloreds and asians in terms of food and clothing, even within the prison. Someone asked our guide is he hated white people and I think he was very eloquent in explaining that the struggle was never black versus white, but a struggle for rights, freedom, and dignity.
We finished our night with dinner in a township. A township is where many of the poor black people live now that they were kicked out of their homes during apartheit. There are some nice permanent houses, but many of them are metal shacks. We had a lovely dinner in a shabeen, which is a bar of sorts. The little boys were so excited to dance for us and show off their talent! Then we ate and had a choir composed of young men sing for us. Afterwards we all danced to the jukebox music. It was the most amazing night I've had on this trip!