Day 36: Robben Island revisited – the ferry trip

The trip to Robben Island for today’s tourist is a comfortable one, in a modern ferry with two indoor decks and one outdoor deck on the top, with a bar, restrooms and staff attending to the needs. And even though the trip can be quite rocky when the sea is bumpy with two meters high waves, like this video shows:

Für heutige Touristen ist die Fahrt nach Robben Island ziemlich komfortabel. Die moderne Fähre hat zwei Innendecks und ein Panoramadeck auf dem Dach, es gibt Toiletten und einen kleinen Kiosk – und natürlich Bootspersonal. Trotzdem kann die Überfahrt ziemlich ungemütlich werden, wenn die See unruhig ist und die zwei Meter hohen Wellen den Katamaran durchschütteln. Hier ein Video von meiner Überfahrt – die einzige an dem Tag. Das Wetter war einfach zu schlecht.




Now imagine to be brought to the island as a political prisoner in a boat like this:

Und nun stelle man sich einmal vor, als politischer Häftling zwangsweise mit solch einem Boot übergesetzt zu werden:


Robben Island


„The docks at Cape Town were swarming with armed police and plain-clothed officials. We had to stand, still chained, in the hold of the wooden ferry, which was difficult as the ship rocked in the swells off the coast. A small porthole above was the only source of light and air. The porthole served another purpose as well: the warders enjoyed urinating on us from above. It was still light when we were led on deck and we saw the island for the first time. Green and beautiful, it looked more like a reserve than a prison. (…) We were met by a group of burly white warders shouting: ‘Dis die Eiland! Hier gaan jule vrek!’ (‘This is the island. Here you will die!’).”

Nelson Mandela: „Long walk to freedom”

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