13 October 2012

Cape Town Redux, Day 4

It was our last day in the magnificent city of Cape Town, and we started out with a bus tour of the city.  A sightseeing company runs 2 double-decker bus tours of the city and the upper peninsula, and since I had taken the city tour on my previous trip, so we took the peninsula tour this time, starting and ending at Kirstenbosch Gardens. 

The tour includes timed narration, which is really well done, and does a great job of giving a brief history of the area and points out lots of attractions and points of interest.

After the tour dropped us off at the Gardens, we ventured in on a brilliantly sunny and a bit warm afternoon, and enjoyed a couple of hours wandering through the unique and exotic trees and flowers of the region.

Kirstenbosch is well-known around the world, and will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year.  It was one of the first Botanical Gardens to dedicate itself to plant preservation of local species, and features indigenous plants almost exclusively.

More than 350 years ago, when the Cape Colony was in its infancy, the founder of Cape Town directed that some brambly hedges be planted at the edge of town as "protection" and portions of these hedges still exist in the gardens today.

Unfortunately, I am not much of a flower expert, so I will just display some pictures of the best specimens I saw...I remember some details about a few of the flowers, but I doubt I could correctly match up my memory with the pictures.  After the garden tour, we headed for the airport to return to Pretoria, ready to tackle my last month here in South Africa.