Tag Archives: signal hill

The bigger picture

The bigger picture
As with my previous photo, this one was also taken on the slopes of Signal Hill (from the Green Point side). In this one you can see the One & Only hotel, and V&A shopping mall on the left side of the photo.

Speaking of the One & Only hotel, here's a tip, for fee - their lounge and bar area is great place to visit for a relaxing cup of coffee under 5-star service. ;)

Hiking Lion’s Head from Signal Hill

Signal hill, a view from Lion's Head
Friends enticed us into walking up Lion's Head on Friday evening. Truth be told, they never had to convince us - just look at the view!

We only arrived at about 19h00, a little later than we'd hoped. By that time our friends had already walked about 70% of the way up to the top, and we'd driven about a kilometer past the start of the hike to find a spot to park. We knew that we wouldn't make it to the top by sunset, so we decided to take a different route, around the right side of Lion's Head - starting from Signal Hill.

The route we took was quite a long, comfortable, footpath that winds around the top of Sea Point and Bantry Bay, finally taking a steep switchback route to meet up with the main path to reach the summit. This photo was taken on the switchback, just before reaching the main path.

I'll post a few more pics in the next day or two. It really was a pretty pretty sunset from above.

Love indigenous

Love indigenous
As I've mentioned before, the Green Point Park is filled with indigenous plants. I imagine the vegetation in this scene looks quite different to that back home where you live, not so?

If you're not familiar with Cape Town, then perhaps you wouldn't recognise that green hill as being Signal Hill - although if you've ever visited here I can't imagine you'd mistake the one in the background for anything other than Lion's Head. Kinda pretty, don't you think?

Where to walk on Signal Hill

Where to walk on Signal Hill
Isn't it cool how the buildings appear to be rising from beneath the ground? I took this photo while walking on Signal Hill (on Saturday morning). While not exactly the safest area to walk alone, it sure is pretty and I'll be sharing a couple of pics I took while walking over the next couple of days.

In case you're in the mood to grab a few buddies and walk this path, I've drawn a map that starts where I parked and follows a route along a footpath. The walk will take around 30 minutes, depending on how many photos you stop to take. :)

Flower, sea, island

Flowers, sea, island
The top of Signal Hill is such a popular spot for tourists that I find it hard to believe that there could be locals who'd never been to the top. It's only a short drive, up an extremely scenic road to the lookout point at the top of the hill - so surely everyone must have gone up to take a look?

I discovered that that contrary to my previous belief, this is just not true. One of my very own friends had never been to the top! So, even though it was windy as hell (not that I'd know how windy hell may be) I decided that while we were in the city I'd take her on her first trip to the lookout point.

This is one of the photos that I shot while at the lookout point. I'm not sure what plant this is - but isn't it pretty? The wind was blowing furiously and that's how I got that cool, more-or-less-in-focus effect on some branches while others are partially, or completely blurred.

The ocean that you're able to see in the background is the Atlantic ocean that fills Table Bay; and the island that you see out in the distance is the famous Robben Island - South Africa's own version of Alcatraz Island

Crossing the waters

Crossing the waters
While watching this pirate ship replica I was struck by the craziness of a handful of men (in the 16 hundreds) boarding a small sail boat like this one and heading off from Europe to sail around the tip of Africa. I'm not sure that the rough seas, frequently poor rations, and the damp working and living conditions would have enticed me into exploring the world.

Perhaps we're too used to the comforts of large cruise liners or huge jet airplanes. Perhaps we've all (although, perhaps not all) become too accustomed to modern living. Do you think we've become too soft; too breakable?

Breakwater at Table Bay harbour

Breakwater at Table Bay harbour

The mountain in the background, along with Lion's Head and Signal Hill to the right unmistakably identifies this breakwater to be part of Table Bay harbour (which is the big harbour where your cruise liner would normally drop you off).

I heard recently, on the radio, that plans are afoot to build a proper arrivals and departures terminal that will cater for tourists arriving on large liners. Currently, visitors normally disembark alongside a commercial (and not very pretty) pier very close to the beautiful Table Bay Hotel - which I have to say is hugely convenient if you plan on bunking in one of the hotel's 5-star rooms!

The way up Signal Hill

The top of Kloof Nek Road
In this photo (map), did you notice the three cyclists coming down the road from Signal Hill? I imagine that they'd been for a morning ride up to the lookout point at the top of Signal Hill.

The ride up the hill is really very beautiful at sunrise. From the road you're able to see the bright glow ascending in the distance over the Boland Mountain Range and the low-lying mist over the city and suburbs that slowly clears as the sun heats the air. The city looks so peaceful from the hill that it's hard to imagine that there is anything but friendly happy people waking up from their slumber.

A school outing

A school outing

About once each term, when I was in primary school, our teacher would organise a class outing to some place like the botanical gardens, some historical monument, or once simply to the slopes of Table Mountain (where we learned about geology).

We found this group of school kids seated on the grass at Mouille Point (map), opening their snack packs as two or three very strict-looking teachers ensured that they were (reasonably quiet) and well behaved. :)

The progress on Greenpoint Stadium

Greenpoint Stadium

Paul took this photo on Friday while we were visiting with friends at their apartment in Granger Bay. What we didn't realise at the time was that the glass roof that will cover the stands (but not the actual pitch, apparently) is now on its way up, supported by a massive network of cables that are slowly being tightened. The roof weighs around 4,500 tons - that's a whole lot of elephants.

You can read more about the process involved in getting this roof up to where it needs to be on the Shine 2010 site, and you can see a whole bunch of great pictures from inside the stadium on the official City of Cape Town website.

Can you believe that we are just over a year away from the 2010 World Cup? The first round of ticket sales starts on Friday, and I must say, the reality of the awesome party that awaits us is starting to set in for me. If you're keen to get your hands on some tickets (and I can't see why anyone wouldn't be!), then read this official FIFA information on how tickets will be allocated.

Back in beautiful Cape Town

Signal Hill and Lion's Head

On Sunday, after launching our new WordPress version of Cape Town Daily Photo, I caught a flight with four colleagues to Johannesburg (the largest city in South Africa), a mere two hours' travel time from Cape Town.

I remembered after landing how different Cape Town is from Johannesburg. It seems almost like a different country entirely. We ate lots of good food, stayed in a nice hotel, and spoke with many interesting people, but today I'm really happy to be back in sunny Cape Town.

Perhaps I've mentioned it before, but us Capetonians are often teased about how preoccupied we are with our mountains - especially Table Mountain.  Even though I'm aware of this there came a point when I genuinely realised that I missed the mountain - I just couldn't find my bearings without the landmark. Were it not for a trusty GPS I'd still be roaming the streets looking for our hotel. :) I really think Cape Town would slip into a huge emotional depression if the earth one day swallowed up our beloved mountain.

We are silly, aren't we?