Pictures from Robben Island
September 15 Cape Town (Robben Island)
We travelled to Robben Island on a catamaran, which took about 25 minutes to get from the old harbour to the island. Robben Island is more famous for being the prison where the anti-apartheid fighters were kept, but the catamaran (“Autshumato”) is named after the first political prisoner, who was sent to the island in the 17th century.
Of course everybody wants to see Nelson Mandela’s cell when they go to Robben Island; this is it. But there are dozens more just like it, and also communal cells that could hold forty men.
When Mandela and the other former political prisoners returned to Robben Island a couple of years ago for a reunion, they visited the limestone quarry where they had spent so many hours breaking stone by hand. When they left, each of them took a stone and threw it onto a pile.
From the shore of Robben Island, you get an excellent view of Cape Town—and of Table Mountain, if it is not in the clouds.
And of course we couldn’t leave the island without visiting the African Penguin colony that lives on the stony beach there.