Beautiful Cape Town City South Africa in photos
A city of contrasts
Cape Town, where I am writing this, is a city of contrasts - old and new, rich and poor, and many other contrasts besides.
The area around the city centre is full of interesting images and historical buildings, and also vibrant with culture and colour.
Not far from the Central Business District are the Company's Gardens, founded by first white colonists under the leadership of Jan van Riebeeck who, in 1652, started a refreshment station for the ships of the Dutch East India Company. The Gardens have a rich heritage and are surrounded by a wealth of historical buildings, from the stately Parliament buildings to the well-known St George's Cathedral, all of them overshadowed by the brooding hulk of Table Mountain, which is almost always visible from the city centre and the Gardens.
Walking in the different rhythms of the city
Walking in the city is to walk in a vibrant today within touching distance of a time many yesterdays ago. There is the old Slave House, St George's Cathedral opposite it, and the Houses of Parliament next door. As I was walking up the vibrant and colourful St George's Mall, which was St George's Street when I was a young boy, I came across a group of Xhosa drummers and dancers singing a song made famous in the days of the destruction of Sophiatown by the then apartheid government in the late 1950s, a song with a strange, heady, mix of a happy, infectious rhythm and words of biting sarcasm, a song called "Meadowlands", which ironically became quite a hit with whites in those now far-off days.
And then around the corner in Greenmarket Square was a group of Cape Carnival musicians in their colourful outfits playing some of their own wonderful music, usually only heard at the time of the New Year's parades.
At the top of Cape Town's main street, Adderley Street, is the Avenue which divides Parliament and other buildings from the old Company's Gardens. With St George's Cathedral on one corner. the Avenue, more properly known as "Government Avenue", stretches all the way to Orange Street, past the South African National Library, De Tuynhuis, the South African Museum, the Jewish Museum and Holocaust Centre and the National Gallery.
Inside the Company's Gardens can be found many interesting plants and beautiful flowers, both indigenous and exotic, as well as some interesting momuments and statues, including one of arch-imperialist Cecil John Rhodes.
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Back to Adderley Street
Coming back down the Avenue one comes to the top of Adderley Street again, where the old Slave Lodge, which is now a Cultural History Museum, stands and also the Mother Church of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa is, the church known as the Grootte Kerk (Big Church).
Nestled next to this church is a small alley with an open-air cafe.
Further down Adderley Street is a large old bank building and some traditional flower sellers, who have plied their trade in that spot for decades, adding a wonderful, elivening scent to the air and vibrant colours to the street.
The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.
© Tony McGregor 2010
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