Day 2 – Robben Island

I was a wee bit sluggish this morning.  Woke up around 4 and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I decided to get up, have some cereal and sit a spell in the soaking tub with a cup of coffee.  I never got back to sleep.  We had an 11am ferry to Robben Island so we strolled from our apartment down to the waterfront.

This will not be a very perky post.  Robben Island is an isolated island that has served as a prison since the 1600’s but more notably is that it was the location Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner for 18 of his 27 years behind bars, along with many other antiapartheid activists.

Unlike kitschy Alcatraz and their mobster clientele, this prison wasn’t just about convicts.  This prison was about injustice based solely on one’s skin color and the constant struggle to be heard, to be counted, to be equal.  At this time visitors are not allowed to freely walk the island.  We traveled by bus and at the end were lead through the prison by a former political prisoner.  Like war vets they are old, and like Mandela, soon they too will be gone  and there will be no one left to tell the firsthand account of their experience.  It was an honor.

I found it very hard to take pictures.  I cringed watching tourists pose in front of prison cells.  But that’ just me.

Cape Town viewed from Robben Island.

Cape Town viewed from Robben Island.

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Bunks only came in around 1977, before that they slept on thin mats on the floor.

 

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Historical Photos

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The work yard fro previous photo. Mandela cell was to the left.

Cape Town in the Distance

Cape Town viewed from Robben Island.

Click here for Day 2.75

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One thought on “Day 2 – Robben Island

  1. Pingback: Day 1- Slept well, feeling refreshed. – The Café Society Hack

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