Atop Cape Town’s Table Mountain, more than 3,500 feet above sea level, there is more to see than a flat tabletop.
Table Mountain can be scaled if you have the right gear and a heart for the challenge. I met a fellow train passenger who did just that, using the popular Platteklip Gorge route.
I, on the other hand, took the easy way up: the cable car (locally, the “cableway”), risking vertigo and fear of dropping my phone (which I would still have for a few more hours) while capturing a great photo op. (I keep wondering why smartphone lanyards are not a more popular accessory for situations like this.)
There are endless views, and lush vegetation, and unbearably cute creatures called dassies, who dwell up there.
Once you get to the top of where the cable car stops, there is a self-guided pathway you can follow, with various outlooks and stops along the way to take in the spectacular views of Table Bay.
Also visible from one outlook is Robben Island, site of Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment for nearly two decades.
Here are a few more pictures of what it’s like just meandering around the top of the mountain.
Apparently, there have been fires atop the mountain.
Periodically, the path allows you to venture toward one of the edges of the mountain. It’s safe, for sure, but there’s always that queasy feeling that would creep up in the pit of my stomach, and then that “almost falling” feeling that would rush me all the faster along the designated path toward the gift shop.
As thrilling as it was to spend an hour or two high atop Table Mountain, eventually it’s somewhat of a relief to take the cable back down to safer ground.