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Cape Town Bo Kaap

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The real Cape Dutch

Lying on the slopes of Signal Hill, the Bo Kaap was home to the Muslims who came from the Dutch East Indies, mostly as slaves. After slavery was abolished, they settled here. This suburb somehow survived the apartheid era of forced removals and has remained as a cohesive community on the outskirts of the City centre. Now they have to face an influx of well off yuppies dying to live near town. The Bo-Kaap museum in Wale Street displays their rich history and the legacy of their past. Many of them were skilled artisans and they are the originators of the so-called Cape Dutch style of building.

Hills and guns

The noon gun on the slopes of Signal Hill used to be fired so that ships could set their clocks. The puff of smoke rather than the bang was the signal they looked for. The bang is just to make you jump. It goes off every day… at noon. The Noon Gun tea room is right next to it. The night time view from Signal Hill is an electrician’s dream. Seriously though, it’s beautiful and a great way to get close to someone you fancy. If you don’t get it right then it wasn’t meant to be.

Yum yum

The Bo Kaap is also known as the Malay Quarter. The restaurant on Wale Street is a good place to sample Malay traditional food. If it inspires your taste buds then Atlas Trading is the place to get the spices from. The recipes are something else.

Hout Street which runs all the way from Bo Kaap into the city is Cape Town's oldest street.