Created By: Cape Town: from Zoe Fray's eleven year old perspective
My mom brought us to this spot for as long as I can remember. Rain or shine, Table Mountain stands tall and beautiful amidst any problems in the household or on the political spectrum. A moment away from everyday norms, going to school, buying groceries, and listening to the radio. We would sit in the car, usually after church or lunch, sure to grab a soft-serve ice cream along the way (my favorite was the chocolate-vanilla mix).
On a sunny day, I would get out of the car, set up a towel with a bowl of watermelon, and enjoy the sounds of the waves, running in and out of the water, dodging the barreling waves. I would join my mom for a walk along the beach, walking toward the mountain and witnessing the kitesurfers with large tankers in the background. In awe of their courage to fly in unpredictable water, I later came to appreciate their stillness and discipline in the water so that it may guide their actions and enjoy the fun the ocean had to offer.
This spot is now known as Blaauwberg, from Dutch meaning Blaau-blue Berg-mountain, and a popular destination for expatriates and wealthy foreigners. Many South Africans did not get to enjoy these beaches because communities of color, specially colored and black communities, were pushed back into industrial towns. Most of Cape Town was inhabited by the Khoi-San people, an umbrella term for the nomadic people of southwestern Africa combined with the bushmen (San). Khoi-San people were pushed into reservations after violent captures by the Dutch colonialists and transferred authority to British control.
Most Khoi-San speaks Afrikaans, a language native to South Africa, combining Xhosa, Dutch, German, and English. I am proud and honored to have learned Afrikaans and speak to my great-grandmother in Afrikaans at least once a week.
Every chance I get home, this spot grounds me and reminds me where I come from. No matter how far out I travel, the mountain unchanging and the view everlasting, this spot ties together family drives and happy memories and encourages me to explore the world curiously and cautiously. I do not feel foreign at this spot. I am at home, with my memories in the sand, history in the mountain, and dreams in the water, and my mother by my side.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Cape Town 2001-Present