After a few days in Cape Town, we decided that we wanted to see more of the surrounding landscape. We hired a cab driver to take us wherever he thought we should go. He told us that he wanted to take us to the Cape of Good Hope, and not knowing what it was, we agreed happily. Beautiful, bright blue skies and water, contrasted with rolling green hills and the occasional ostrich roaming freely, greeted us when we arrived.
When following the western side of the African coastline from the equator, however, the Cape of Good Hope marks the point where a ship begins to travel more eastward than southward. The first modern rounding of the cape in 1488 by Batolomeu Dias, a Portugues explorer, was a milestone. The Portuguese goal to establish direct trade relations with the Far East had finally been reached. Dias called the cape Cabo das Tormentas, or “Cape of Storms” because of the foul weather and treacherous sailing that claimed many ships and sailors lives. It was later renamed the “Cape of Good Hope” to reflect the optimism gained by opening a trade route with India and China.
That must have been a wonderful trip!
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