Friday, June 15, 2012

Stop the Clock!

Surely if you have been living for more than ten years in one of the 10 most loved cities in the world you would've visited and seen all the tourist attractions that the city has to offer? Wrong. 

Yesterday I decided that I needed to get out of the office for a while and instead of seeking my consolation in a Latte from my favourite coffee shop around the corner, I decided to go check out the Noon Gun on Signal Hill. If you are not familiar with the Noon Gun, then in short I can tell you that most Capetonians have heard it at least, if they have not seen it. The same for me. I have been wanting to go check it out when it fires at noon ever since I've moved to my new office at foot of Signal Hill. So at 11h40 I jumped on my bike heading up to Signal Hill hoping to take a short clip of one of the oldest rituals in Cape Town that has taken place every day since 1902. Except for Sundays and Public Holidays of course. I should have timed it better because in my rush to get there in time I left my wallet and phone at the office for which I had to turn back.  I also got myself lost in exactly 3 Cul-de-Sacs in the Bo-Kaap area. I know the way to Signal Hill, but I was taking all kinds of short-cuts which didn't help at all. 

I arrived at the top of Signal Hills at 11h55, which I suppose could have given me just enough time to reach the gun. It was like a game of treasure hunt and I was just about to shout "Stop the Clock!" when I realized that I might be at the wrong place. I asked around a friendly staff member from Cape Nature Reserve told me that the gun is not on Signal Hill but rather halfway down Signal Hill. I had to go back and approach it from the City Centre side. I was definitely not going to make it and stopped on my way back at a spot where I could see the smoke and hear the gun, but not close enough to take any worthwhile pictures. What I did take instead was a few picture of the amazing view from Signal Hill. I will visit the gun at a later stage and make sure that I have plenty of time to get there and enjoy my popcorn while I watch something that has happened in Cape Town over 62 000 times already. I am sure the tradition will continue for a few more years to come....

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