Monday morning we flew from Johannesburg to Cape Town. There we had a tour of the city. Table Mountain was clouded in, but we went up Signal Hill and we could overlook the city. The clouds cleared for a moment and we had a brief look at Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was in prison. Then we went to a section of town noted for its brightly painted houses, and to the City Hall where Mandela gave his short speech after being released from prison.
That afternoon we boarded the MSC Opera, which would be our “home” for the next 4 days. We had a balcony cabin #9136.
We saw a pod of dolphins and a glimpse of a whale!
Tuesday we enjoyed various classes: arts & crafts to make a flower out of crepe paper and a straw, with Jessie and John Wightman; napkin folding to form a candle, pyramid, fan, and a banana; and a ½ hour Italian class “Buongiorno!”
We ate dinner either in the formal restaurant with our group or at the buffet. We enjoyed the company of Julie and Rob Bramhall.
On Wednesday morning we took the shuttle bus to Port Elizabeth. Even though it was raining, we took in some of the sights at the Donkin Memorial,
We walked through St. George’s Park where we saw a pretty war memorial.
Port Elisabeth is called the windy city! Look at these trees! At the next stop, the bus went right past a beautiful beach and dropped us off in a mall-like place called the Boardwalk. Well, happily, Rich found the ocean-side entrance to the Boardwalk and soon we were on the long pier watching the beautiful waves. A sand artist was at work.
Thursday was another day at sea. I went to a vegetable/fruit carving demonstration. Here is the watermelon flower and the egg plant penguin that were created.
Friday we disembarked in Durban, South Africa. There our tour guide took us through town where we saw the main government buildings. Our destination was Ushaka Marine World. There we looked at many marine exhibits and attended the Penguin Show, the Seal Show, and the Dolphin Show.
Our last stop in Durban before the airport was Mabhida Stadium where we rode the cable car up to the top of the arch.
We had a short flight from Durban to Johannesburg. At the airport we again saw Ronel who had our big mission suitcases. Checking in was quite a process, but we only had to pay $190 for overweight charges for our suitcases. After getting a quick bite to eat, we began our long journey home, which would entail a total of 40 hours enroute: about 29 hours.and 12,300 miles of air travel:
Johannesburg to Doha, Qatar - 7 hrs. 55 minutes
Donha, Qatar to New York City, NY - 14 hrs. 30 minutes
New York to Salt Lake City - 5 hrs. 24 minutes
We arrived home late last Saturday evening, January 31, but our body clocks said it was 7 a.m. the next morning!
It was MARVELOUS to be met by our family at the airport and to get hugs and kisses from our family!
On Sunday we attended Church and were welcomed by our bishop and ward members. That afternoon we were reunited with Paul and his family, and we had dinner with Peter and Tad and their families at Peter’s.
Now to plan for our Family Get-together, which will be Saturday, February 14, and speaking in Sacrament Meeting, February 15 (11 a.m. Edgemont 7th Ward Chapel, 555 East 3230 North, Provo).