Today we learned a lot about the history and culture of Cape Town, beginning with a visit to the District 6 museum. This was an area where residents of all ethnicities were forcibly removed from their homes during the apartheid era and moved to various townships. Most of the homes were torn down but one man saved all the street signs and they now hang in the museum along with other artifacts and stories from the people who lived there. They also spared the churches and mosques knowing that could attract international attention. We then visited Langa, the oldest township in Cape Town. It began as a place where the men who were brought as labourers could stay in the government build hostels. Some of these hostels still exist but since the end of apartheid, the government is building homes and apartments and giving deeds to families so they can own their home rather than rent as was the case in the past. In Langa we also visited the cultural centre where artists work, teach and sell their crafts. We also got to visit a primary school where the children sang for us.
Back in Cape Town we visited the Castle of Good Hope, built by the first Dutch settlers, and then the colourful Cape Malay neighbourhood of Bo-Kaap. After a quick break at the hotel, we went back out to catch the sunset before having dinner. Tomorrow, we leave Cape Town and head to the wine region.
Other blog posts from this tour:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Days 8 & 9 | Days 10 & 11 | Days 12 & 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Days 16 & 17 | Day 18