The only other city in the world where I remember seeing any similarly gaily colored homes was in Charleston, South Carolina, where just one block of homes is known as Rainbow Row. Bo-kaap, though, had Charleston beat in the sheer number of gaily painted homes.
After seeing how attractive and fun Long St. was, we found a parking spot a few blocks away on a side street. We were able to leave the car there for most of the day so we could explore the downtown sights. There were no meters as such but rather a city parking attendant who checked us in via his handheld device and told us to find him when we returned as long as it was before 5!
The Garden, framed by Devil's Peak and Table Mountain, and its pond with ducks and water lilies was so, so pretty. It was, however, uncomfortably hot in the sun so we didn't spend much time dawdling!
Until the 19th century, women were predominantly portrayed in art in a religious context, and the most frequently displayed image was that of 'Our Lady', the Virgin Mary. While the Virgin Mary represented the pinnacle of the feminine 'ideal' within the essentially patriarchal forms of Christianity, other culturally concepts of the feminine also mirror the opposing attributes of saint or sinner, wife or witch, virgin or whore.
It is evident that over the centuries, women increasingly emerged from the shadow of religion but their portrayal continued to be dictated mostly by men. Viewing the older works in 'Our Lady' with the benefit of a contemporary perspective, we are able to free them from the macro-historical forces that were at play when they were produced.'
An enlargement of the above photo to show the detail of the beading.
The tree-lined pathways in the Garden were a welcome respite from the day's heat.
Too bad this photo was blurry as this woman and whoever else was there beside her looked like they were really enjoying the Garden!
Cecil John Rhodes was a British businessman, mining magnate and politician in South Africa, who served as Prime Minister of South Africa's Cape Colony from 1890 to 1896. Both Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and Northern Rhodesia, now Zambia, were named after him. He is viewed by black South Africans and Zimbabweans as the ultimate representation of colonialism.
"It is that statue (below) that continues to inspire [white people] to think that they are a superior race," Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, describing itself as an anti-capitalist and anti-imperial organization, has said, "and it is through collapsing of these types of symbols that the white minority will begin to appreciate that there's nothing superior about them." The inscription on the status "Your hinterland is there" refers to his dreams of a British imperialism from the Cape to Cairo, including his dream of a railway line through the continent.
Rhodes' detractors see him as a racist, and one of the people who helped prepare the way for apartheid by working to alter laws on voting and land ownership. In Zimbabwe, there are still calls to have Rhodes's remains moved to the UK, where he was born.
The statue of Sir George Grey in front of the National Library:
After finally leaving the fantastic Company's Garden, we continued our our own walking tour of the downtown core known as the Central Business District, strolling first past the Houses of Parliament. Built in 1885, the gorgeous neoclassical building was presided over by a statue of Queen Victoria.
While the country's seat of government is in Pretoria, the legislative capital is in Cape Town. In 1994, the country's first democratic elections were held and Nelson Mandela opened Parliament in Cape Town.
An altogether different feel obviously was the nearby Cathedral of St George the Martyr, the oldest cathedral and the seat of the Anglican Church in southern Africa. The Cathedral has a long history fighting oppression and, in particular, a strong involvement in the struggle against apartheid. During protests in 1972, many protesters sought refuge from the police in the church.
During the height and collapse of apartheid, the Archbishop was Desmond Tutu, the beloved clergyman and Nobel Peace Prize laureate renowned for his anti-apartheid passion. The film 'Jesus Christ Superstar' was banned in the country but was defiantly screened in this church.
As we re-entered the Cathedral, it was disturbing seeing the memorial tablets and noticing how very young the men were who had served in so many wars in South Africa and abroad.
Lil Red: This one was for you as I knew you were fond of penguins!
We had to hurry to make sure we were back by 5 to pick up our rental car and pay the attendant who luckily was indeed very easy to find. It had cost only 90 rand - less than $7 - for almost 6 hours of parking just a few blocks away from the city center - what a deal! After carefully navigating through the heavy rush hour downtown traffic, we managed to escape the city and headed to the beach by Table Bay.
We spent a glorious 90 minutes sitting on the grass surrounded by seashells and reading our kindles and watching the birds and the boats go by.
Finally, close to 7 we left as we were getting hungry. We could hardly believe the sun was still so high in the sky as we'd been in so many places this trip where the sun had set by 5!