Seventh Wonder

28 Aug

This is Table Mountain. It is the high plateau that stands sentinel above the City of Cape Town. And it is one of the seven wonders of the world or of nature, depending on your information source.Table Mountain in Cape Town, South AfricaTable Mountain is a little like Mount Etna in my opinion.  It is the site everyone asks if you have visited while you are in Cape Town. And like Mount Etna, it is visually impressive and dominates the skyline of the city.

From the foot of the mountain

Dana and I took the tram to the top of the mountain.  This was our second try at a visit as the mountain is often shrouded in clouds, has high winds and the tram does not run. On sunny days it is so busy cars are parked for a mile or two to the foot of the entryway and the lines to the ticket office are just silly. So here is our tutorial on how to visit a popular site when traveling.

First: Get there early and beat the noisy and spirit dampening lines. By early, I mean before they open.  We did this, found a place to park and walked right to the tram lickety-split.

Second: Buy your tickets online so you don’t have to wait in the ticket line with its attendant sturm and drang.

Third: Research to find out if they have any guided walking tours. This gives you an overview of where you are and helps focus your visit.

Fourth: Find out what the weather is going to be and Fifth: Dress for the weather.  Being too hot or too cold makes it hard to find the wonder in the Wonder, if you know what I mean .

So, we followed our own rules and found ourselves waiting at the top for the interpretive tour at 10 a.m.  We waited for about fifteen minutes…the only people to do so…and discovered there was no tour today. Which brings us to the Sixth travel guideline: Be ready at any time to improvise.

Following our own rules we set off on our own interpretive hike .

Looking to Lion’s Head

Looking down to Devil’s Peak

The plateau is about 3.000 feet high which doesn’t seem like much when you live in Santa Fe. New Mexico at 7,000 plus feet. But here the land rises directly from sea level making the elevation dramatic. We kept extending our walking loops out over the surface of the plateau.  We hiked for about two hours with views of the city and the surrounding peaks. Magnificent.

There were no barriers of any kind at the edge of the cliffs.  We have found this difference in personal safety everywhere on this trip. You are trusted to be smart enough not to tempt fate by going close to the edge.  This did not stop some young tourists from jumping up and down near the edge while taking a photo. One can imagine they wanted to look like they were flying over Table Mountain…and they almost were.

Here is your final guideline for visiting a Wonder of the World. Seventh: When you are tired, go home.  There are miles of hikes on Table Mountain but we are here for three months and do not need to do them all in one day.  That is the beauty of Infinitesimal Travel.

3 Responses to “Seventh Wonder”

  1. Ursula Freer August 28, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Thanks for sharing these amazing experiences, photos and travel wisdom! My only excitement today was planting a cactus outside!

  2. Nancy Lehrhaupt August 28, 2012 at 3:06 pm #

    wow, looks fabulous but why is it a seventh wonder of the world?

    • Jill August 28, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

      Well actually it was named one of the 7 “Natural” Wonders of the World in an international vote on the Internet…so I was stretching a point. The 7 natural wonders are not the old 7 Wonders of the World that includes the pyramids. This is sort of the digital version, so they are Digiwonders.

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