Exploring Cape Town: Castle of Good Hope
We’ve been exploring Cape Town CBD lately and the kids had loads of fun getting to know more about their city. On Saturday we signed up for the Amazing Race at Park Inn on Adderly Street and managed to find 5 out of 8 clues dotted around the Foreshore. If you want to join in, you have until the end of the month to pop in and sign up at the front desk. No invitation necessary and no cameras following you around to broadcast your family spats for an international audience.
Today we went to the Castle of Good Hope. I, ahem, turned 36 last Tuesday and I’ve never been to The Castle. It is Heritage day in South Africa and the Iziko Museums have waived their entry free for the week but entry to the Planetarium and The Castle is only free for today, 24 September 2014.
The minute we stepped off the bus we could hear the party atmosphere with a group of Cape Minstrals playing their brass instruments at the front entrance. I must admit that I didn’t anticipate the crowds but it was great to see Cape Town coming out in force on a public holiday to absorb some history and heritage.
We walked past a display of vintage cars in the central courtyard and navigated our way around pony rides to get to the rooms on the other side where there were displays of castle dining and bedrooms. The kids were fascinated at the size of the beds that were elevated from the ground in solid and detailed frames while cribs stood close by.
Another section of the Castle housed a museum of modern art designs that were made from recycled materials. The staff had a hard time with people taking photographs but they sign that indicated we weren’t allowed to were not very well displayed.
The Castle is built in the shape of a 5 pointed star and each of the points have a different name. There is Catzenellenboggen, Leerdam, Buren, Oranje and Nassau. We asked an officer how we could get to the top of one of the points and see the view from the top of the Castle. He pointed us in right direction and we set off up a few narrow flights of stairs. Since the staircases are very narrow we often had to wait for our turn in the traffic as people climbed up and down with their families.
Instead of going into great detail about what we saw I’m going to let the pictures do the talking and encourage you to go and see for yourself. It is not just for school outing and people of all ages can benefit from learning about the oldest building in South Africa. Get out there and be a tourist in your own city. You may learn something new and find out a little more about our rich and diverse history.