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Cape Town, South Africa

Majestic Table Mountain

This beautiful iconic mountain with its world-renowned table sitting as its peak and which gives it its name, is the first mountain of a rugged promontory which stretches south into the far distance, straddling the entire length of the Cape Peninsula. Other notable peaks dominating the Peninsula include Lion’s Head, Signal Hill and the Twelve Apostles. This mountainous spine ultimately forks to the Cape of Good Hope to the west and Cape Point at the extreme south.

But the brooding heart of the Peninsula is, and always will be, the massive eternal rock towering sentinel-like over the beautiful city at its foot.

There is a cableway which ascending from the lower station on Tafelberg Road takes passengers to the very top of this magnificent mountain. The cable car rotates slowly over360 degrees as it soars to its destination. As one may imagine, the views from the cable car are seriously breath-taking.

The fluffy, cotton woolly, white clouds which blanket the peak are locally referred to as the lace of a table cloth which mantles Table Mountain. Some days this ‘table cloth’ manifests over the entire peak before slowly spilling over the sides of the Mountain before disappearing. Mysteriously, even on the clearest of days, with crystal blue skies, this misty ‘table cloth’ slides over the sides. This is an essential part of the ongoing magic and enchantment of this Mountain.

To explain this phenomenon, there exists a fascinating legend about the pirate Van Hunk and the Devil who entered into a smoking competition. Legend has it that Van Hunk routed the Devil and whenever one sees the clouds pouring over the sides of the Mountain, it is the pirate Van Hunk celebrating his victory by puffing his pipe on top of the mountain.

Of course, the scientific reason why the clouds cover the Mountain’s peak from time to time, is the south-easterly wind which pushes air up against the Mountain’s side from whence it is forced to rise. On reaching the cooler air at the peak, moisture in the air condenses and clouds are formed. Thereafter, on meeting the warmer air lower down the other side, the moisture evaporates, and the clouds dissolve…

The stunning views from the top of Table Mountain include Signal Hill, the famous Cape Town Stadium built for the Soccer World Cup in 2010, other parts of the city and Robben Island way in the distance across Table Bay.